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Wednesday, December 17, 2014


(Madala Kunene)

The Rainbow Restaurant with support from Concerts SA and Hansa Pilsner present its 33rd birthday concert on December 21. This will feature the Madala Kunene Band with special guests Mabi Thobejane, Zamo Mbutho and Lu Dlamini.

Kunene, affectionately known as Bafo to so many, for indeed he is a kind and generous gentleman, has a history with the Rainbow that goes right back to the turbulent 1980's and the band Zanusi. He travelled to New York in October as part of the Ubuntu Music Festival at Carnegie Hall and brings the same band to the Rainbow: Bernard Mndaweni on bass, Paki Peloeole on drums, Vincent Mthethwa on keyboards and Mdu Magwaza on sax and penny whistle.

An old collaborator of Kunene's is master percussionist Mabi Thobejane. His is a remarkable journey through music from his first band, none other than malume Phillip Tabane's Malombo Jazzmen to the founding of Sakhile in 1979 with Sipho Gumede and Khaya Mahlangu to hooking up with trance music star Ben Watkins of Juno Reactor which saw him hitting all the big EDM festivals over more than a decade. Alongside this punishing touring schedule they recorded such classic tracks as Conga Fury and even worked on the sound track for the Hollywood blockbuster, Matrix.

Zamo Mbutho makes his Rainbow debut with this performance. This Durban born vocalist has been plying his trade for almost three decades working with such luminaries as Hugh Masekela, Caiphus Semenya, Brenda Fassie, Stimela and for 14 years as Miriam Makeba's key backing vocalist. He has also recorded with acts such as the African Jazz Pioneers, Simply Red, Sakhile and Thandiswa Mazwai. 2014 saw the release of Mbutho's debut solo a capella album, At Last on the African Cream label. His a capella group Amaryoni are regular performers on the Gauteng circuit and he participated in Kunene's production, Back to Cato Manor, presented at the Umkhumbane Community Hall in 2012.

The third special guest is Durban based vocalist, event producer and business woman Lu Dlamini who has appeared on the Rainbow stage with regular collaborator Steve Newman, including his show Some Tanana's Tunes in June 2013. She also assisted with Kunene's production, Back to Cato Manor. At the end of August, her band presented a steaming hot show to close off the Rainbow’s Woman's Month celebrations.

The concert takes place on December 21. Doors open at 13h00. Tickets R80 booked through the Rainbow, Pick n Pay or online at

The Rainbow Restaurant Estd 1981 is situated at 23 Stanfield Lane, Pinetown. More information on 031 702 9161 or 083 463 8044 or email: or visit