Cape Town

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27 Sep 2008

Pan African Space Station - The Artists

Pan African Space Station

With: Bebson De La Rue (voice); Dicoco Boketshu (bass, video); Djanga (drums, percussion); guests DJs and musicians

WHERE/ WHEN: the Assembly in District 6 (Wed Oct 1, from 9pm); Guga S'thebe in Langa (Fri Oct 3, from 6pm)

Bebson de la Rue is a singer/rapper and the leader of Tryonix, an Afrofuturist project based in Kinshasa (DRC). Bebson and his brother Dicoco Boketshu, a bass player and video artist, formed Tryonix during the mid-1990s, as a collaborative project that blends Congolese rumba with rap and Jamaican raggamuffin with jazz sensibilities and electronica. Lyrically, Bebson taps into his vast knowledge of proverbs, Mongo chants and Kinshasa's street slang. A sound they call Original Raggamuffin Folklore (ORF).


With: Siya Makuzeni (voice & trombone); Marcus Wyatt (trumpet); Carlo Mombelli (bass & manipulated strings); Lloyd Martin (drums)

WHERE/ WHEN: Slave Church on Long Street (Thurs Oct 2, from 6pm); Mowbray Town Hall (Sat Oct 4, from 6pm)

The Prisoners of Strange is a collective 'spontaneous freestyle chamber jazz' ensemble from Johannesburg, under the leadership of Carlo Mombelli. The current line-up has been together since 2001, and has evolved into an exciting live performance group with a cult following in South Africa. Aside from appearing at nearly every major South African arts festival, they also recently performed before Abdullah Ibrahim at the Leipzig Jazztage in Germany. Their latest CD, 2007's I stared into my head features the Prisoners of Strange with the J.M.I. string section and artwork by Norman Catherine. It was nominated for a 2008 SAMA award.


With: J.D. Allen (tenor saxophone); Carlton Holmes (piano/fender rhodes); George Mitchell (bass); Cindy Blackman (drums)

WHERE/ WHEN: Slave Church on Long Street (Wed Oct 1, from 6pm); Slave Church (Fri Oct 3, from 6pm)

Cindy Blackman is widely regarded as one of the top drummers in the world. She's upheld the backbeat and created texture for a veritable Who's Who in jazz: Jackie McLean, Joe Henderson, Don Pullen, Hugh Masekela, Pharaoh Sanders, Sam Rivers, Cassandra Wilson, Angela Bofill, Bill Laswell, Buckethead. However, she's better known as keeper of polyriddims for funk rocker Lenny Kravitz since 1993. Indeed, she is one of a few drummers who can easily move from straight-ahead jazz to rock to funk and back again. Of her album Woks on Canvas, jazz critic Mike Zwerin said: "Some drummers act, some react. Some keep time, others create it. Cindy Blackman is among the few who can..." Cindy Blackman has also released an acclaimed drumming instructional video entitled Multiplicity.


With: Madala Kunene (guitars, voice)

WHERE/ WHEN: Slave Church on Long Street (Thurs Oct 2, from 6pm); Slave Church (Fri Oct 3, from 6pm)

Known to many simply as Bafo, Madala Kunene is undeniably one of the best guitarists to have come out of Durban. This eclectic musician has an aura of calmness and wisdom that is meticulously replicated in his music - deep-rooted in spiritual and traditional rhythms.

For his appearances at PASS in Cape Town, Bafo launches a concept titled "Sounds in the Darkness of Light", a solo performance in complete darkness. This places the audience in a realm of darkness where only sounds illustrate the images of one's immediate surroundings. A realm well understood by the visually impaired, who dwell in it daily. Members of blind societies from surrounding communities will be invited to the event and will escort the artist himself onto the stage.


With: Funsho Ogundipe(piano, wurlitzer, fender Rhodes); Ayo Odia, Shabaka Hutchings, Ayo Solanke (saxophones); Byron Wallen (trumpet); Curtis Shaw, Mike Collins (guitars); Falna Amodu King, Karl Adedare Rasheed-Abel (bass); Pharoah Russell, Frank Tontoh (drums); Dayo Rasaq-Ayandele, Samson Olawale, Angela Paz Alhucima, Hafiz (percussions); Kwesi Frimpong (spoken word)

WHERE/ WHEN: Guga S'thebe in Langa (Wed Oct 1, from 6pm); Guga S'thebe (Fri Oct 3, from 6pm)

Ayetoro ("world of peace" in Yoruba) is the 9-piece band/vehicle for live performances of the music of Nigerian composer and pianist Funsho Ogundipe. Although heavily influenced by Afrofuturist big band projects such as Sun Ra's Arkestra, Miles Davis's electric groups and Fela Kuti's various outfits, Ayetoro is no mere funk-jazz-Afrobeat revival band. The collective's members, all established musicians in Lagos, Accra and London, get together for performance and recording projects. In accordance with the Felasophy of only performing works-in-progress, Ayetoro never perform pre-recorded music: they work on new songs, perform them and once recorded never perform them again.


With: Bibi Tanga (voice, bass); Le Professeur Inlassable (turntables, programming); Rico Kerridge (guitars); Arnaud Biscay (drums, percussions); Arthur Simonini (violin, keys)

WHERE/ WHEN: the Assembly in District 6 (Wed Oct 1, from 9pm); the Assembly (Fri Oct 3, from 9pm)

Bangui-born, Paris based Bibi Tanga is a singer and bass player whose music combines Curtis Mayfield's truth-speaking falsetto, James Brown's funk epics and Sly Stone's lysergic experimentation with Africa's big band traditions, including Miriam Makeba's Bembeya Jazz National, Franco's TPOK Jazz and Fela Kuti's Africa 70. His current project is a collaboration with Professeur Inlassable, an accomplished DJ/producer and studio sorcerer, and a walking library of gothic samples. Their album, Yellow Gauze is a unique hybrid kaleidoscope of black music traditions. Weird and good.


With: Anthony Joseph (voice); Andrew John (bass); Colin Webster (sax, flute); Adrian Owusu (guitars); Paul Brett, Paul Zimmerman and Craig Tamlin (percussions)

WHERE/ WHEN: the Assembly in District 6 (Thurs Oct 2, from 9pm); Mowbray Town Hall (Sat Oct 4, from 6pm)

Anthony Joseph is one of the leading writers of his generation. Born in Trinidad, his experimental poetry, fiction, music and spoken word performances fuse Calypso rhythms with a postmodern eye, creating what he calls 'liquid textology'. Joseph is the author of two poetry collections, Desafinado and Teragaton, a novel African Origins of UFOs, in addition to releases featuring his Jazz septet The Spasm Band. The band's debut album Leggo de Lion has echoes of dub poets, Mystic Revelation of Rastafari, the Art Ensemble of Chicago and Sun Ra cosmic visions, but the Spasm Band definitely has a sound of its own. Joseph's new collection of poetry Bird Head Son is due in 2008 followed by a new Spasm Band album with the same title.


With: Linda Buthelezi (voice, guitars); Mpumi Mcata (guitars); Molefi Makananise (bass); Tshepang Ramoba (voice, drums)

WHERE/ WHEN: Guga S'thebe in Langa (Thurs Oct 2, from 6pm); the Assembly in District 6 (Fri Oct 3, from 9pm)

BLK JKS are an internationally acclaimed, Johannesburg based band. Says music journalist Miles Keylock: "What makes them hip is that they're South African and damn it, they sound it. In fact listening to BLK JKS is kind of like taking a slow cruise through Jozi with your windows rolled down. Afro-jazz riffs segue into tribal rhythms, which swagger through street-level sociology before exploding into hardcore bursts of noise, kwaai kwaito beats and addictive rock hooks. It's not funk rock. It's not punk rock. It's not indie rock. It's just music, and it'll infect your mind if you let it." BLK JKS have released two EPs. The latest, Mystery, was recorded at the famed Electric Lady studios in New York.


With: Rui Sorero (turntables); Paulo Chibanga (turntables)

WHERE/ WHEN: the Assembly in District 6 (Wed Oct 1, from 8pm); the Assembly (Fri Oct 3, from 8pm)

As the riddim providers behind acclaimed bands such as 340ml, Tumi & Volume and Levi pon the Mic, the Mozambique born, Johannesburg based Rui Sorero (bass) and Paulo Chibanga (drums) are the contemporary South African equivalent to the famed riddim factory Sly & Robbie. And like their Jamaican heroes, Rui and Paolo are also dub producers. As a selector, Rui has also produced the acclaimed Dub Vaults I &II compilations, focused on contemporary South African dub. During their DJ sets at PASS, Rui and Paulo will select a mashup of local and international reggae, dub, dancehall and dubstep.


With: Mac Mckenzie (guitar); Brendon Bussy (electronics)

WHERE/ WHEN: Slave Church on Long Street (Wed Oct 1, from 6pm); Mowbray Town Hall (Sat Oct 4, from 7pm)

Goematronics is a collaboration between goema guitar supremo Mac Mckenzie and electronic instrument inventor Brendon Bussy. Jazz composer, goema legend McKenzie, once of punk band the Genuines, is currently the lynchpin of the Goema Captains, a Cape Town all star orchestra that includes saxophonist Robbie Jansen. Bussy is a musician, researcher and electro-acoustic sound artist working on the border of the classical/popular continuum. His predominantly research based work - including his 2003 album Diesel Geiger - combine traditional acoustic instrumentation with new media inventions. For PASS the duo performs a messy mix of malay-choir melodies on six slinky electric strings salted in live rhythm manipulations of a goema beat eaten with computer-chips.

Tickets are very reasonably priced. Once people find out, the tickets are gonna fly..


26 Sep 2008


Celebrating the history of Marimbas in Cape Town and the legendary musicians who have for the past 28 years dedicated their time and passion, performing, teaching, composing and nurturing young players, Artscape acknowledges these icons and their music with the production of Marimba Extravaganza in the Artscape Theatre from 1 to 3 October 2008 at 20:15 and on 4 October at 17:00.

This unique production brings together in collaboration and on stage at the same time representatives from six distinguished Marimba bands - Amampondo, Ntsikane, Phambili, Heshoo-Beshoo, Amajingqi and Women Unite. All groups have travelled the world, won many awards and have acted as Ambassadors for South Africa wherever they have performed.

Bongani Sotshononda (Phambili) directs the production. He is an internationally acclaimed Chromatic Marimba / Marimba / Percussionist and composer and will also be seen on stage.

Marimba Extravaganza traces the history of the Marimba instrument in Cape Town during the late 70’s from the time Fr. Dave Dargie (later Prof Dargie, head of Music at Fort Hare University) set about introducing the instruments and creating new liturgical music for Marimba in Catholic churches and youth clubs, at first among Xhosa speakers in the Cape Province and later country wide.

Mzwandile Qotoyi (Amampondo) recalls when Andrew Tracey (Prof Emeritus, Rhodes University and the son of Hugh Tracey (1903-1977), a pioneer in African music research and African Musical Instruments Ltd, together with Fr Dargie, were introduced to church music at St. Anthony’s in Langa and invited to assist in adapting church hymns that were to be accompanied by Marimbas. Mziwandile mentions: ‘After choir rehearsals we would stay behind and introduce more traditional music. Amongst those who were at the church were 15 year old Simpiwe Matole, Dizu Plaatjies, Mandla Lande, Zandisile Mbizela and Michael Ludonga. Our Lives began to revolve around Marimbas and our music and that’s when Amampondo was born’.

Marimba Extravaganza is also an eclectic mix of indigenous to mainstream South African contemporary music and jazz accompanied by brass instruments, keyboard, Imbira, traditional instruments and dancers. It is narrated by Zwelilungile “Zorro” Sidloyi who will tell the story of the Marimbas from the time they were introduced to the Catholic churches through to their current contemporary commercial development.

Amongst the notable artists performing are; Luzuko Nqikashe (Phambili), Jongisizwe Monatsi (Phambili), Sindile Moya (Amajingqi), Mzwandile Qotoyi (Amampondo), Nkosikhona Nyawula (Ntsikane), Simphiwe Mathole (Amampondo), Mzumbanzi Charles Tema (Heshoo Beshoo), Vuyo Katsha (Ntsika ye-Afrika), Ronald Mvimbi (Phambili), Thandi Swartbooi (Women Unite) with her musicians and dancers, Nomonde Swartbooi (Women Unite) and Fancy Galada (Heshoo Beshoo).

Artscape’s mission is to provide a platform for indigenous art forms previously excluded from performing on a professional stage; encourage creativity in script writing, musical composition and choreography; showcase and present diverse performing arts programmes that make all art forms accessible to the general public.

Marimba Extravaganza is a project of the Artscape Indigenous Arts Department.

Tickets cost R40, block bookings R30 and are available through Computicket, Artscape Dial-a-Seat 021 421 7695, Shoprite/Checkers outlets and on line

25 Sep 2008

Pan African Space Station - PASS

Hey Cape Town, Wake Up! It is happening right on our doorstep.

The Pan African Space Station (PASS) is a 4-day music intervention from October 1-4, 2008 across Cape Town. The festival, curated by Ntone Edjabe and Neo Muyanga, is presented by the Africa Centre with the support of Spier.

One of the headline acts of the festival will be a unique radio station that will broadcast 30 days of cutting edge music from global Africa to the greater Cape Town. This will be a true meeting place for the diverse music audiences in the city. Volunteer DJs, hosts and producers will be welcome to participate from all of Cape Town's music communities. PASS radio will broadcast from studios in the city centre and live from the city's public spaces: malls, gardens, community centres, and clubs before and throughout the music festival. PASS radio will be non-profit and will not broadcast commercial adverts. PASS radio will launch online in August and intends to migrate to FM radio during September-October. Thereafter, broadcasting will continue online.

The primary aim of the Pan African Space Station is to articulate, musically, the Africa Centre's programmatic theme of entangled nations in an African context. The event is an opportunity for Capetonians and visitors to engage up-close with the rich and complex web of creative expression which binds Africans across the globe.

PASS will not only bring music lovers together, the festival will also seek to acknowledge and profile new and existing independent music venues across the city. The music happenings will be arranged to occur at staggered time and space intervals to help affirm and disrupt, both, music geography of the city. However, these disparate venues across Cape Town will be brought closer together through a temporary transport network of buses, which will serve the festival's routes, facilitating greater mobility in our notoriously rigid cultural environment. Through this approach, venues such as Langa's Guga S'thebe and Assembly in District Six may be linked conceptually. Other selected venues include Mowbray's Town Hall and the Slave Church on Long Street.

The above was the promotion and petition material to get a broadcast licence for The Pan African Space Station (PASS).

Guess what, PASS got the licence and is now broadcasting from September 12 - October 12 on radio and the internet. In the greater Cape Town area they are broadcasting on 91.3FM. Tune your radios.

Listen on the internet -

Like Lonnie Liston Smith said: "Expand Your Mind..." from Expansions

Check out the website on

With acts like Carlo Mombelli, Cindy Blackman, Ayetoro, Madala Kunene and many more, the music and spoken word is sure not to be missed.

Come on, get tuned into PASS - "There are other worlds out there they never told you about"

11 Sep 2008

full circle MAGAZINE

Sometimes things are right on your doorstep and you try to look for it somewhere else. When you do find out about it you ask yourself the question:"Why did I never see it before or know about it before?"

I was searching for more info on Claude Cozens who (with Darren English) is currently doing his second year music studies in Norway. Bang! There it was - "Bursary For Claude".

Exploring a bit more, I found one of the best montly community lifestyle magazines, covering the False Bay area and surrounds, and sometimes far beyond these borders. Please check out The Full Circle Magazine

It is delivered free to some areas. I just wish they make the magazine available as one complete download. Currently downloads are available per article.

If you love the Cape Peninsula, the mag have some amazing wallpapers and pictures.

Backissues can also be accessed here.

Sean and company - Good work!

10 Sep 2008

Go Well Bheki Mseleku

It is with much sadness that we heard about the passing of a great artist, Bheki Mseleku on 8 September 2008.

South African Minister of Arts and Culture, Dr Z Pallo Jordan on the death of African piano maestro, Bheki Mseleku

05 Sep 2008

'Intimately Airborne Live' - Double DVD Available NOW!!!!!

Good news from Airborne:

After 9 months of hard work, we are proud and excited to announce that we have received DVD stock of the concert recorded live on 5th December 2007!

It has been a great learning experience and based on feedback from audiences who have previewed the DVD, we appear to have a gem on our hands.
We obviously would have liked to have released the DVD earlier, however our commitment to striving for world class quality, meant that the process of sound and video editing, artwork, packaging etc. took much longer than originally anticipated.

To our knowledge, this DVD is the 1st concert recorded live in Cape Town and proudly and exclusively produced by Capetonians for consumption in the world markets.
We aim to market Cape Town music and subsequent products on the world stage in order to reenergise and invigorate our local music industry. This will ideally create and export our own world class celebrities and their products and leave a tangible kick-start and legacy for current and future musicians.

Airborne consists of:
Sean O'Connell - Piano and Vocals
Benedict de Maar - Lead Guitar
Jonathan Coetzee - Bass
Ronnie Van Niekerk - Drums

Guest musicians are:
Tony Schilder - Piano
Basil Moses - Double Bass
Kim Fortune - Vocals
Heinrich Frans - Vocals
Daniel Bloem - Percussion
David Rubain - Saxophone

The album will be featured for the first time on air this Sunday 7 September from 19h00 – 19h30 on the Selwyn Bartlett Sunday Lounge Show on Cape Town’s Soul Radio Station, Heart 104.9

Take note that the radio station streams on the internet, so there is no excuse if you are outside of their broadcast area.


For your convenience the DVD is available at the following music stores-

Rhythm & Rhyme
Ground Floor
Kenilworth Centre
Contact No: 0216712609
Landmark: Close to FNB & Shoprite
Trading Hours: Mall Hours

CD Select
Shop No 514
Tyger Valley
Contact No: 0219141860
Landmark: Close to Stuttafords
Trading Hours: Mall Hours

Or contact Airborne Music at 021 425 3430

"Jazz and freedom go hand in hand. That explains it. There isn't any more to add to it. If I do add to it, it gets complicated. That's something for you to think about. You think about it and dig it. You dig it..." Thelonious Monk
"Jazz and freedom go hand in hand. That explains it. There isn't any more to add to it. If I do add to it, it gets complicated. That's something for you to think about. You think about it and dig it. You dig it..." Thelonious Monk

Hamba Kahle Winston Mankunku Ngozi - Tributes

PASS photostream