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Monday, March 6, 2017



The Centre for Jazz and Popular Music presents two gigs this week: Twosday gig with JKE and the Roots grown deep featuring Madala Kunene tomorrow (March 07) at 18h00 and Africa Plus featuring Tshepo Tsotetsi on Wednesday (March 8 at 18h00).

Joel Karabo Elliott's (JKE) music of Roots Grown Deep is an Amer-Afrikan musical, poetic and cultural movement seeking the most resonant harmonies of human Diaspora. It expresses a unique musical fusion of New Orleans jazz, southern African indigenous rhythm and dance, Jamaican reggae and Appalachia folk. The outcome is a passionate soul's outcry of multiple languages, trances, and instrumental concepts, guided by a poetic message of conscious spiritual ascension.

Roots Grown Deep’s 2016 double album entitled Grow Within And You Shall Not Go Without, connects the landscapes of three rivers: the Limpopo of Southern Africa, the Colorado of the Grand Canyon, and the Bluefields of Jamaica. Grow Within features the musical voices of more than 20 South African and American artists, including Msaki, Nono Nkoane, Naftali, Nkoto Malebye and Stompie Selibe.

For their 2017 KZN and Lesotho tour, Roots Grown Deep will perform as a quartet featuring Newcastle and Durbanite Ntando Mbatha on bass, Sepedi and isiZulu praise poet Dennias Mashegwane, and percussionist Lantern Maleka. Both albums of the Grow Within musical novel will be available for sale at the concerts (R200 and R100 respectively). For more on JKE as an artist and the ensemble’s vision, active projects and performance history, visit:

On March 8 at 18h00, The Centre for Jazz and Popular Music Proudly presents a band that comprises three UKZN music graduate Africa Plus.

Lungelo Ngcobo, Prince Bulo and Sphelelo Mazibuko- who form the highly talented band Africa Plus will perform as part of their album launch tour. They will feature talented saxophonist Tshepo Tsotetsi.

The band was formed in early 2013 whilst studying music together at UKZN. They have since been creating waves nationally working with an array of premier musicians in South Africa. Best known for their combination of virtuosity as well as easily accessible melodies, Africa Plus are changing the game in South African trio music.

‘We are really looking forward to playing at the Jazz Centre especially after such a long time. This album tour launch brings Africa Plus closer to their audience by sharing our music off the debut album Africa Plus which was released last year October 2016. We individually travelled across Africa and lived the African experience and distilled these individual elements and infused them into modern jazz, hence the name Africa Plus,’ said Mazibuko.

Africa Plus is an eclectic genre-crossing band whose parameters are expanded beyond what’s expected from a drums, piano and bass trio.

‘We craft the repertoire from innovative original music as well as creative renditions of covers by some of Africa’s greatest pioneers of jazz. Africa Plus continues to quarry and explore the same principles that inspire us, exploring infinite musical forms through the unprecedented exploratory power of jazz,’ added Mazibuko.

Their self-titled debut album Africa Plus was recorded live at The Orbit in Johannesburg in May 21, 2016 and thereafter released worldwide on October 8, 2016.

Each of the members are well established and highly sort after musicians who have produced, recorded and performed with the ‘who’s who’ of the South African music scene as well as international acts.

Some of these artists include Marcus Wyatt, Black Coffee, Standard Bank Young Artists Award recipients Bokani Dyer, Afrika Mkhize, Siya Makhuzeni and Sibongile Khumalo, Lloyd Cele, Joyous Celebration and the UKZN Jazz Legacy which toured USA in 2013 and 2014. ‘As Africa Plus, we aim to showcase and educate the world about the diverse cultures of South Africa through the medium of song,’ said Mazibuko.

Tickets available at the door for R70 (R45 pensioners and R20 students) and can be purchased at the Jazz Centre on the night, Level 2 Shepstone Building at UKZN Howard College Campus, Durban. Doors open at 17h30, the music starts at 18h00. Cash bar available. For more info, contact Thulile Zama on 031 260 3385.