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Saturday, May 17, 2014


(Oliver Mtukudzi)

Prolific Zimbabwean musical legend, Oliver Mtukudzi, makes a rare trip to KZN for two intimate afternoon concerts: Caversham Mill in the Midlands this afternoon (May 24) and the Rainbow Restaurant in Pinetown on May 25, performing with Maskanda group, Shabalala Rhythm.

The Rainbow Restaurant is extremely honoured to host this phenomenal artist,” enthuses the Rainbow’s Neil Comfort. His keenness is shared by Caversham’s Di and Terry Acres: “We have been personal fans of Oliver's for many years and now, at last, to bring him to KZN is awesome.”

The Oliver Mtukudzi Africa Day Concerts are presented by Concerts SA, Alliance Française and Castle Milk Stout. Concerts SA is a joint South African/Norwegian initiative that aims to stimulate live music in Southern Africa by finding and implementing ways to create regular, sustainable performance platforms and stimulate a viable touring circuit throughout the region.

Oliver Mtukudzi will be joined by Shabalala Rhythm and supported by David Jenkins at Caversham Mill. Then Mtukudzi and Shabalala Rhythm perform at the Rainbow Restaurant as part of their Africa Day Concert with Akalé Wubé.

Oliver Mtukudzi (affectionately known as “Tuku”) began performing in 1977 when he joined the Wagon Wheels, a band that also featured Thomas Mapfumo. Their single Dzandimomotera went gold and Tuku's first album followed, which was also a major success. Mtukudzi is also a contributor to Mahube, Southern Africa's supergroup, led by saxophonist Steve Dyer.

With his husky voice, he has become the most recognized voice to emerge from Zimbabwe and onto the international scene and he has earned a devoted following across Africa and beyond. A member of Zimbabwe's KoreKore group, with Nzou Samanyanga as his totem, he sings in the nation's dominant Shona language along with Ndebele and English. He also incorporates elements of different musical traditions, giving his music a distinctive style, known to fans as Tuku Music.

Oliver primarily tours the UK, USA and Canada performing to large audiences. A highlight for Oliver in 2013 was being inducted into the Afropop Hall of Fame in the USA after performing to 10,000 New Yorkers at the Central Park Summer Stage Festival.

World music talent comes no finer than that from the Shabalala family of Durban. Sibongiseni Shabalala, who now steps into his father’s shoes to lead Ladysmith Black Mambazo, is also the core of the hot Maskanda act Shabalala Rhythm. A hugely talented performer, Sibongiseni drives with a passion any project he is involved with. Shabalala Rhythm began in 1998 and after writing tracks Ubuhle Bakho and Intombi Ingalile, Durban guitarist Maqhinga Radebe was called to join the group. Later that year the first album was released. Since the band formed, they have gone from strength to strength performing nationally and internationally. Their live shows are high energy, very slick productions. Supporters of the band know to expect a fantastic event and new followers will be swept up by their precision and interpretation of the Maskanda style.

David Jenkins will perform at Caversham. 22 year old David, also known as Qadasi, meaning "White Person" in isiZulu, is an accomplished Maskandi musician who developed a deep passion for Zulu culture and music at a young age. With influences from his idols such as Paul Simon and Johnny Clegg, there is much excitement in the promise of what lies ahead for this Maskandi artist.

Akalé Wubé will perform at the Rainbow. Presented through the support of the Alliance Française, this Parisian band is devoted totally to the grooves of 60s and 70s Ethiopian music. Since their beginnings in 2009, Akalé Wubé have been exploring passionately and meticulously the musical goldmine of Swingin' Addis, which they discovered through the Ethiopiques compilation curated by Buda Music.

The performance at Caversham Mill, Lidgetton, Howick, takes place this afternoon (May 24) at 14h00 Doors open at 13h00. Limited tickets available – R200 booked on 033 234 4524 or email Food and drink available.

The performance at the Rainbow Restaurant, 23 Stanfield Lane, in Pinetown takes place on May 25 at 14h00. Doors open at 13h00. Limited tickets available – R200 booked on 031 702 9161 or – tickets R228 online. Food and drink available