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FESTIVAL JAZZ (article first published : 2000-08-9)

This year, The South African Women’s Arts Festival offers free late night entertainment in the Opera Bar on August 9, 10 and 12 from 22h00.

Tonight (August 9), Lucia Mthiyane and the Brian Thusi Jazz Ensemble will be the guest artists. Durban-born Lucia Mthiyane started performing professionally in 1996 and has appeared in Piano Lesson, Blues Brothers and Kippie. She was also seen in Richard Loring’s highly successful Girl Talk, Janice Honeyman’s Little Shop of Horrors and Tyron Watkins’ The Show at The Venue in Rivonia. Trumpeter Brian Thusi is no stranger to Durban audiences, having played the jazz circuit for many years.

August 10 will feature Connie Miya and the Fasimba Band. Originally founded in 1997 by composer and acoustic guitarist Lihle Guma, the Fasimba Band was re-established in November 1999 and members hail from Inanda, KwaMashu, Mayville and Empangeni). Lihle Guma teamed up with Connie, herself a songwriter, and they started playing and singing together. Lihle is the music arranger of Fasimba and worked with his previous band (Siyeza), an Afro Rock band (Thamela), and as a session musician at BMG studio. Connie performed with the maskanda band Sakhula Izangoma in 1997 and the Afro jazz group Abadabuli in 1998.

Closing the Festival on August 12 will be Xolisa Gqoli and Jiqa Jazz Band, who have recently taken the local jazz scene by storm. Xolisa Gqoli is presently a student at Technikon Natal where she lectures voice on a part-time basis. Her credits include a music video with Simba Morri, backing vocals for Brazilian guitarist Sergio Diaz, performances with Elie Kilionia and the recording of a gospel song.




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