Category: Music Theatre

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Founders of the Sibikwa Arts Centre Smal Ndaba and Phyllis Klotz present Kwela Bafana + to the Arts Festival again and as the years have gone by this production has metamorphosed. In order to get through times of hardship Klotz’s said, we need to think about the positive and nothing encapsulates such emotions like jazz music did for dwellers of Sophiatown during Apartheid.

– Kawela M’ule

Didu du Preez, Taniia Strauss and Li Parker sing in the show Lullaby at the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, Monday 07July 2014. The show is written and directed by Allan Glogauer and showcases various lullabies and the connections formed through these songs. (Photo: CUEPIX/Michelle Cunliffe)

Lullabies are simple, soothing, sweet melodies that put babies to sleep, right? Not when they are performed by three moms from Wilderness in the show “Lullaby”.

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The Standard Bank Jazz Festival, Grahamstown 2013 incorporates a variety of disciplines into its programme. Blues/Funk/World Music is one of the genres that will be highlighted at the festival this year, though it is just one part of the formidable line-up which includes Mainstream, Afro-Jazz, Modern Jazz, Youth and the Standard Bank Jazz and Blues Café.

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The rich sounds of traditional African instruments fill the chapel. Passion and rhythm mix on stage, and by the time the musicians bow to the audience, sweat drips from their chins. The Origins – Ekugaleni, performed by the Sibikwa Arts Indigenous Orchestra, combines the old and the new with contemporary music performed on traditional instruments. The orchestra is a young, talented group of musicians who’re dedicated to reinventing the sound of traditional instruments for contemporary culture. The eight-member ensemble was awarded a 2011 Standard Bank Ovation Award for 2011 for its exciting and innovative work.

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The beat drops immediately, forcing you to the edge of your seat. Lyrics wash over you, jumping and jolting and at times crooning. Working in tantalizingly short sets of complementary genres, each one leaving you hungry for more, The Best of Durban Hip-Hop and Poetry II gives an electrifying performance.

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You’re not going to get what you expect if you head down to party venue Tunnels tomorrow night. Cape Town-based production WE like BASS are ready to set the Sound Kiln Festival’s stages ablaze, shattering the mould of conventional DJ sets. Drawing on the wide array of musical acts at the Festival and its strange, eclectic mix of audiences, this DJ trio brings a lot more finesse to the usually overly-simplified drum and bass genre.

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The term stand-up musician may seem puzzling at first, but the concept is not entirely new. Think Flight of the Concords. Guitar in hand, The Brothers Streep, consisting of Dylan Hichens and Simon van Wyk, sing their comedy to pieces of music.

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For some, Louis Armstrong is the lovable gravel-voiced Satchmo singing What a Wonderful World; to others he was an Uncle Tom (yet he was invited to play at the Ghana independence celebrations); and to many he’s a pioneer, probably the greatest jazz trumpeter who ever lived.

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While not original – the impact of technology on our human interaction has been top-of-mind for creative artists for decades now – the concept driving Tweet – The Musical is a good one:  human beings may be connected in cyberspace via technology, but we’re losing the ability to look into each other’s eyes and connect in the real world.

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This is a short story about a long table. Where should we start? Let’s work our way from one end to the other. The Long Table Restaurant and Late Night Pub is a festival in itself. It’s where the party’s at, and I’m not just talking about a party on a plate. It’s also on the table top, but let’s go underneath and see what it’s all about…

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