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Monday, November 16, 2020


(Right: Sanele Phakathi)

The Centre for Jazz and Popular Music and iSupport Creative Business will present a new initiative in its ongoing series of online concerts recorded live at Centre for Jazz and Popular Music Live & Unlocked.

The inaugural online concert will feature talented pianist Sanele Phakathi and aired on Wednesday, November 18, 2020, at 18h00.

These concerts represent the closest thing possible to a return to in-person shows at the Centre. The concerts offer patrons a high-quality audio-video production of performances of young jazz musician Sanele Phakathi. In addition to the footage, the artists describe the challenges of COVID-19 and their plans and aspirations for 2021.

Umlazi-born Phakathi is widely known for playing the piano/keys for some of South Africa’s celebrated jazz musicians such as Mbuso Mbusuyeza Khoza, Xolisa Roro Gqoli-Dlamini, Nhlanhla Mahlangu, and Philani Ngidi, to name a few. He started playing the piano at the age of 17, and his sound resonates with those of yesteryear’s soul and jazz legends. In turn, he refers to jazz legends such as George Benson, Al Jarreau, and Bheki Mseleku, Keith Jarret, and Oscar Peterson as his musical inspirations.

Phakathi’s band, The Sanele Phakathi Quintet, is currently performing at various venues in and around Durban. He has shared the stage with Durban’s finest bass guitarist, Dalisu Ndlazi, the experienced and well-celebrated drummer Sbu Zondi, one of the best alto saxophonists in South Africa, Leon Scharnick, and a very young trumpet maestro Thabo Sikhakhane.

For this concert, Phakathi will feature his quintet comprising Dalisu Ndlazi (bass), Thabo Sikhakhane (trumpet), Leon Sharnick (saxophone), and a special guest, Portia Luthuli on vocal.

The concert is made possible by The SAMRO Foundation/Concerts SA. Concerts SA is a joint South African/Norwegian live music development project housed under the auspices of SAMRO and managed by IKS Cultural Consulting. Concerts SA receives financial, administrative, and technical support from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, SAMRO, and the SAMRO Foundation. Working with musicians, promoters, venue owners and audiences, and providing support to the sector through research and skills development for music professionals, the project aims to build a vibrant and viable live music circuit in southern Africa. It also seeks to develop an interest in and appreciation of live music by showcasing music performances and conducting workshops at schools.

For more information, visit website, follow @ConcertsSA on Twitter at or like us on Facebook at

Sanele Phakathi Live & Unlocked takes place online on November 18, at 18h00. Tickets R50 available from Webtickets.