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Tuesday, August 22, 2017


(John Ellis)

This evening (Tuesday, August 22), the Maritzburg Musicians Club (MMC) will host a variety of awesome musos for a special evening. Highly acclaimed and inspiring solo artist John Ellis, whom some might recognise from last decade's famous band Tree63, will perform some of his favourites.

Warming up the stage for Ellis will be a group of aspiring young musos who will perform for one of the first times on a stage such as La Casa's. Formed at UKZN, these three acts have been jamming together for many years on the steps of the Centre for Visual Arts studios, creating content and growing exuberantly into talented, keen musicians. Lebo Khoza; Shades of Black and Malwande, Melusi and Christopher are excited to showcase their love for music to Pietermaritzburg.

John Ellis is a singer-songwriter from Durban. The principal member, guitar-player, vocalist and songwriter for the internationally renowned and award-winning band Tree63, he relocated back to his hometown from America after many years of international success to pursue a solo career. In 2010 he released his debut solo album, the politically-charged Come Out Fighting, which garnered him another SAMA nomination, and in 2011, in addition to his production work for other South African artists, he recorded his follow-up, an acoustic album entitled Rural, accompanied by Johnny Clegg drummer and percussionist extraordinaire Barry van Zyl.

Following a deal with Sony in 2012, Ellis recently released Bush Telegraph, a 5-track digital EP. John is an accomplished guitarist, having featured on numerous American and British recordings, as well as on albums by South African artists such as Ernie Smith, Farryl Purkiss and Ard Matthews. John also lectures English literature, politics, communication, English as a second language and academic literacy.

Shades of Black is a young vibrant band from Pietermaritzburg established by UKZN students. They were strung together by jam sessions, but the passion for music inspired the inception of this charismatic band. With the influence from the likes of John Mayer, John Legend, Jhene Aiko to name a few, with a drum style inspired by genre's of Pop, RnB and Soul. Striving to be a genuine as possible, the band consists of six members - the beautiful Lelo (vocals), Lionel (acoustic guitar and vocals), Ayanda (acoustic guitar and vocals), Melusi (acoustic guitar and vocals), Sphe (acoustic, lead and bass guitar), and Njabulo (lead guitar). This freshly formed band is ready for any stage and any audience because they believe music is world an anthem and are working industriously towards their goal to touch the lives of many with their music.

Three amazing musical artists have come together for a performance at La Casa - for the love of music. Working individually and in different acts, Christopher Shuku plays piano, Melusi Bhengu plays guitar and Malwande Bhengu has been a vocalist for many years. They formed an alliance and have been performing for a couple months since their debut show - Music on Tuesday held at The Dive at UKZN. Humbled by their musical abilities, their vision is to create a musical movement and inspire other people with their music.

Lebo Khoza is young, talented lady born and groomed in PMB. She associates herself with colour and vision and believes in the power liberating the mind with music, and is inspired by African and Zulu culture.

The home of the Maritzburg Musicians Club, La Casa (formerly The Red Door) is situated in Quarry Road, off Victoria Road, in Pietermaritzburg. Car guards on duty. More information from Roger O’Neill on 083 230 6562. Doors open at 19h00 for only R50, with all door proceeds going to the artists. Pizzology menus will be circulated.