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Sunday, June 2, 2019


(Left: Neil Gonsalves)

In association with iSupport Music Business, Concerts SA presents a performance of pianist Neil Gonsalves and of the duo Chillie and Portia at Luthuli Museum on June 7. Entrance fee is R30 and the doors will open at 19h00.

Neil Gonsalves was born and raised in Durban, and this clearly reflects in his music. His compositions are influenced by the rich diversity of cultural life that characterizes the city. Gonsalves’ musical interests and range of influence is broad, and while steeped in the hymnal tradition, township jive and Zulu and Xhosa folk music of South Africa, his is a multicultural approach that will turn to swing, Latin, Afro-beat, bhangra or bulerias in a heartbeat. It is often his modus operandi to recontextualise music, and especially to re-orientate the American songbook within the simpler harmonic movements and the rooted rhythmic gestures of South African traditional and popular music grooves.

Gonsalves has a Masters' degree in Jazz Studies from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. His performance credits include various national music festivals with numerous South African jazz and Afro-beat luminaries as well as his own band, Tonk. He has extensive international touring experience after a four-year stint as part of Johnny Clegg's band. He is currently on the staff of the Music school at the University of KwaZulu-Natal where he teaches and co-ordinates the various jazz programmes.

“After having performing as a sideman to numerous jazz luminaries at Luthuli Museum, I am delighted to return as a band leader. I am planning to present a selection of original compositions and standards that are evocative of the majesty and beauty of South Africa and its people, and of a young democracy that often fights its battles in song,” says Gonsalves

Joining Gonsalves on stage will be Llewelyn Chetty on bass guitar and Riley Giandhari on drums.

(Right: Portia Malunga-Rowling & Chillie Stent)

Vocalist Portia Malunga-Rowling and guitarist Chillie Stent have joined their musical forces to form an acoustic duo. Portia’s rich and soulful voice has a diverse pallet and Chillie’s rhythmic and funky guitar is what carries her voice. Portia has been an active professional vocalist since 2001 singing for the likes of lourdeluxe, Nasitafara, mtsjungles, and Nje bands from Durban as well as the UK. Nje released an independent self titled EP in 2014 and took part in the 2016 ETV Coke studio collaboration with Just Jinger, Denom Harding and Limpopo Rapper Space Munna creating the song Love is a Tree. Portia's diverse tastes and experience in music recording and performance are what sets her apart. Michelle “Chillie” Stent has a BA Honours in Jazz and Popular music from The University of KwaZulu-Natal. She was a member of the Natal Youth Choir when she was in school and the lead singer songwriter and guitarist of the successful rock band Habit To for over a decade. She has also worked as a session guitarist for various bands under which the popular all-female band Heels over Head.

“We are excited to come to Groutville and share with the audience what we love doing most. It will be a pleasure to play in Albert Luthuli’s original home town, a man who paved the way to our liberation,” says Malunga-Rowling.

Neil Gonsalves Trio and Portia and Chillie will perform at Luthuli Museum in Groutville on June 7 at 19h00. Tickets R30 at the door

Neil Gonsalves’ Trio will also be performing at The Chairman at 146 Mahatma Gandhi Road in Durban on June 6 at 22h30. Tickets R150 (deductible from consumption bill). Bookings on 079 753 6113 or