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Saturday, July 25, 2020


The Centre for Jazz and Popular Music (UKZN) and iSupport Creative Business will present a guitar concert to raise funds for the Rainbow Restaurant and Jazz Club in Pinetown. The online concert will take place as part of the regular Unlocked Music Sessions on Wednesday July 29 at 18h00, tickets are R80 and available on Webtickets.

Ever since guitar virtuoso Philip “Dr Malombo” Tabane opened the Rainbow’s music programme in May 1983, this venerable bastion of music and politics has built a reputation for showcasing some of the greatest axemen to be produced in southern Africa — some of whom, like transcendental Maskanda maestro Madala Kunene, and the irrepressible Bheki Khoza, will be performing at the fundraiser concert.

Following in the footsteps of giants like Sandile Shange, Louis Mhlanga, Doc Mthalane and, more latterly, Reza Khota, the Guitars for Africa concert will bring together a mixture of wizened older heads and an exciting younger generation to raise money for the Rainbow at a time when, because of the global pandemic, many similar cultural institutions are closing down.

Kunene and Khoza head a veritable who's who of KwaZulu-Natal guitarship which includes the Centre for Jazz’s Sazi Dlamini and Mageshan Naidoo, idiosyncratic guitar wizard Guy Buttery, the dynamic Nick Pitman, Cebo Ngema and Nibs van der Spuy, who is currently based in Portugal.

Multi-instrumentalist Pops Mohamed, vocalists Tu Nokwe and Lu Dlamini also form part of the line-up which includes Mozambique’s Milton Chissano, Deon Krishnan from the United Kingdom, Belgium’s Mbijana Sibisi and Solomon Willy from Nigeria.

As the global pandemic continues to tighten its grip and leave destroyed lives and livelihoods in its wake, the Rainbow’s crowd-funding campaign ( to ensure the survival of this part of South African history is still short of its target.

The Rainbow’s place in the history of South African jazz and the struggle against apartheid is extraordinary. A non-racial focal point and haven for activists, trade-unionists, students, journalists and other anti-apartheid types during the repressive 1980s, the Rainbow remains a vibrant multi-cultural live music hotspot that still offers a vision of a “New South Africa” that sometimes feels like a dream deferred.

The Rainbow’s relationship with the Centre for Jazz goes back to the 1980s when students from the university, like pianist Melvin Peters and trumpet player Feya Faku,  cut their teeth at the venue, or formed part of the pick-up backing band for some of South African music’s grandest names. The Ronnie Madonsela scholarship fund, which is administered by the Centre for Jazz, was initiated by Ben Pretorius, the co-founder of the Rainbow and Centre’s founder, Darius Brubeck.

In the wake of a very successful Piano Passions fundraiser for the Denis Hurley Centre, and the close ties that the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music and iSupport have enjoyed with the Rainbow over the years, a subsequent fund-raising concert, featuring 20 guitarists seemed an essential follow up.

The event takes place at 18h00 on July 29. Tickets: R80 available from Webtickets.

Audiences will receive a link and can watch at any convenient time

Crowd Funding: