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26 Sep 2008

MARIMBA EXTRAVAGANZA

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 http://www.computicket.com/

2 comments:

An awesome array of some of Cape Town's best Marimba players. Its about time that they all joined forces and put on a big show!

GReat stuff

Hi rouvanne

I went to go see Marimba Extravaganza on Wednesday, 1 October 2008. Your comment was that it is "...An awesome array of some of Cape Town's best Marimba players."

Must tell you that the show was awesome. It blew me away. It is something for any music lover to go see.


"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

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