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JIMMY DLUDLU TO PLAY AT SIBAYA (article first published : 2008-08-27)

Celebrated jazz musician Jimmy Dludlu takes to the stage at Sibaya Casino & Entertainment Kingdom on September 23.

Jimmy Dludlu was 13 years old when he first picked up a cousin's home-made guitar and started teaching himself to play by imitating the jazz and African music he heard on the radio. His first performances were at township weddings and functions with his cousin.

His career took off in earnest in the mid-1980's, when he worked with various southern African bands including Impandze from Swaziland, as well as Anansi. In Johannesburg in 1990, Jimmy worked as a session musician. He worked with McCoy Mrubata and his band Brotherhood, which a year later won the Gilbey's Music of Africa Competition.

He was a founder member of the highly successful group Loading Zone, which went on to tour across the continent, backing a range of South African stars including Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba, Brenda Fassie, Chicco and Sipho Mabuse. A highlight of this period was Loading Zone's Namibian tour in 1992, when they were spotted by Zairean world-music star Papa Wemba, who subsequently asked the band to back him on several dates in Namibia.

Jimmy enrolled in the Jazz Programme at University of Cape Town's College of Music and by 1995 he was signed up with recording studio PolyGram. His debut album Echoes from the Past was released in September 1997 to a wealth of superlatives from the media. The album was also well received by the industry, as Jimmy received 2 FNB SAMA Awards for Best Newcomer and Best Contemporary Jazz Album in 1998, and by the general public, as sales figures in January 1999 indicated sales in excess of 25,000 copies. The album has since been released in nine territories on the Verve label, including United States, Italy, Switzerland, Sweden and Hungary.

In March 2000 at the SAMA Music Awards he won the Best Male Artist category, and his Essence of Rhythm the Best Contemporary Jazz Album prize.

Jimmy Dludlu's style includes wide-ranging influences, combining both traditional and modern elements of jazz drawn from Wes Montgomery, George Benson and Pat Metheny, among others, to South African legends Miriam Makeba, Letta Mbulu, Hugh Masekela, Themba Mokwena, and Allen Kwela. He is particularly drawn to the sounds of west- and central Africa, as well as Latin America, but says jazz remains his first love. His numerous original compositions fall within the tradition of what has been loosely termed Afro-Jazz.

Single tickets also available at R350 which include the show, a three course buffet meal, and welcome drink. For more information or to book 031 580 5555.




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