Posts Tagged ‘music’

Asanda Mqiki performs at the Rhodes Club, Grahamstown, 07 July 2015, at the 2015 National Arts Festival. Mqiki is a product of the National School of Art and has performed in Sweden and Maputo, she explores new arrangements of old favourites as well as performing her original work. Photo: CuePix / Jane Berg.

Afro-Soul Singer and musical  director, Asanda Mqiki, presents a recognisable brand with a unique singing style. Cue spoke with this soulful personality, who has shared stages with singers such as Sibongile Khumalo. She continues to explore new arrangements of music at Festival this year.

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These are the Standard Bank Young Artist Award Winners for 2015.

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Matthew Field, guitarist with pop band Beatenberg,  performs in a concert in the Guy Butler Theatre at the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, 08 July 2015. (Photo: CuePix/Harold Gess)

“They said it was sold out, but I didn’t really imagine it. So, I’m dealing with it now.” Matthew Field, the singer and guitarist of Beatenberg, looks a little bewildered, the lights in his eyes, his face locked in that slight frown he always makes when he sings.

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Khaya Ndlovu performs in ‘Silent Prints’ at Centenary Hall, St. Andrews College, Somerset Street, Grahamstown, 08 July 2015, at the 2015 National Arts Festival. Khaya Ndlovu is the Director, choreographer and dancer along with Zanele Ndlove as the Vocalist. CuePix/Pearla Berg.

Every once in a while a blurb in the programme is so intriguing that you take the time to check it out. Sometimes you discover a gem. This happened to me at Khaya Ndlovu’s Silent Prints. An explosive gem.
Two feet and hands, held together by an energized elastic body and accompanied by a VOICE, embark on a powerful exploration of African women’s identity.

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It’s Friday night, and in front of the PostNet on High Street, an old busker in a floppy white hat places his saxophone case on the pavement and starts playing free jazz. His instrument is dirty, but the sound is clean. You can hear him from five blocks away. He accompanies himself with Herbie Hancock recordings broadcast through a homebuilt portable PA system: an MP3 player plugged into a car amplifier plugged into a hi-fi speaker on wheels.

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So early on Monday night I dodge the rain to hear Richard Haslop talk about bagpipes. Not the talk of his series of four I’d have chosen, but it’s the only one I can make, and I reckon my ex-radio colleague and music-fundi-cummusician will deliver, whatever the topic.

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On Sunday 5 July festival-goers had a chance to enjoy the ambiance of a different market in town. Atmosphere Market, which is a newly launched monthly market was successful in giving an alternative to the veteran Village Green and Cathedral Markets.

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Siya Makuzeni performs at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, 05 July 2015. Makuzeni is known for her experimental approach and has performed in some of the biggest jazz events around the world. (Photo: CuePix/Tamani Chithambo)

She opens with a complex solo she describes as an ode, and ends with Johnny Dyani’s ode to the Kalahari. She is Siya Makuzeni, who sang her heart out the previous evening with Lionel Loueke. Now she takes centre stage and carpes the diem.

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Kesivan Naidoo performs in Kesivan and the Lights on 5 July 2015 in Grahamstown at the 2015 National Arts Festival. Kesivan and the Lights performed at Carnegie Hall last year. (Photo: CUEPIX/Kate Janse van Rensburg)

Kesivan Naidoo is larger than life. If he were an actor, a casting agent might recommend him for a zany guru, a rebellious teddybear, or a demented Svengali. But he’s a musician, and, seated centre stage – like a rock drummer – Kesivan is more like a noisy musical chef as he cooks away, throwing ingredients into the mix – a bluesy solo from pianist Kyle Shepherd, some rock guitar from Reza Khota, a show-stopping double bass solo from Shane Cooper, with three saxophonists and one legendary trumpeter (Feya Faku) standing by to be added to taste.

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Nils Jason plays the trumpet with the world–renowned Stockholm Jazz Orchestra at DSG Hall venue. Photo: CuePix/Niamh Walsh-Vorste

It all starts off great! The opening composition Fire lives up to its name, as the SJO provides punchy brass, delicate flutes, with a rocksolid rhythm section, and Martin Sjöstedt swapping his customary double bass for an electric instrument. But for the next number composer, arranger and conductor Ann- Sofi Söderqvist introduces vocalist Lena Swanberg, who stays throughout.

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