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SIPHO GUMEDE AT BAT (article first published : 2000-12-29)

Some of KZN's most popular artists and crafters will appear at the BAT Centre's Festival 2000 taking place on December 29 from 12h00 until 18h00 and featuring an “explosion of local music, food, arts and crafts”.

Top ace bass guitarist Sipho Gumede heads the line-up of performers which includes Xolisa Dlamini, Ba'agisane, Sakhula and Vusi Ximba.

Sipho Gumede needs no introduction. From playing his homemade guitar on the streets of Durban's Cato Manor as a child, he has a string of awards and recordings to his name. He has toured the United States, Canada and the Bahamas with the likes of Harry Belafonte and Letta Mbulu and has recorded with legends such as Kippie Moketse, Abdullah Ibrahim, Stimela abd Margaret Singana.

Vibrant singer Xolisa Gqoli-Dlamini is well known for her appearances with the band Jiqa which performs originals and its own versions of African and American standards. A versatile performer who won the vocal section of this year's Old Mutual Jazz Encounters Competition, she has performed and recorded with Busi Mhlongo, Brazilian Sergio Diaz and Elie Kihonia. She was invited to represent South Africa in Norway's biggest festival of South Africa music in 1998 and also won the 1997 Radio Metro song competition with a co-composer.

Founded and led by guitarist, singer and songwriter Vusi Mkhize, Sakhula has performed around the country. While playing in 1996, the band was spotted by a South African Airways representative looking for a group to play in Hong Kong for the launch of SAA. Rich in messages of peace and unity, Sakhula's music is inspired by such greats as Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba, Busi Mhlongo and Sipho Gumede, as well as Salif Keita, Baaba Maal and the late Fela Kuti.

Afro-jazz quintet Ba'agisane perform most of their own material which reflects diverse musical influences such as standard jazz, Latin and contemporary as well as Afro-centric mbaqanga and Afro-fusion. Taking their name from a Tswana word meaning “neighbours”, Ba'agisane has appeared with popular South African performers like Sibongile Khumalo and has “rubbed shoulders” with many illustrious South African musicians and groups. They have performed on South African television and appear on the CD Trios Plus produced by Darius Brubeck.

Craft groups Simunye, Amatata and Uganda will display and sell their hand-made beadwork jewellery and a variety of traditional African foods will be available. Visitors will also be able to see the exhibition Ubuntu Bami (My Identity) in the Menzi Mcunu Gallery. This fascinating collection of photographs, beadwork, mixed media and installations by third-year Technikon Natal Fine Arts students Zama Dunywa and Thando Mama deals with female and male identities. Mama's works will be on sale.




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