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Friday, January 1, 2021


(Right: Riley G. Pic by Simanga Zondo)

In collaboration with iSupport Creative Business, the University of KwaZulu-Natal's Centre for Creative Arts and Centre for Jazz and Popular Music presents a monthly series of performances supported by Concerts SA. The latest virtual concert features Drummer Riley G and his band.

The concert will be available for streaming from January 5, 2021.

Riley G is a session drummer, composer, producer, teacher, keyboardist and audio engineer based in Durban. Riley G, or Riley Joseph Giandhari, started playing the drums at the age of three and was mainly inspired by his father Pravin Giandhari, a professional drummer. At the age of 15, he started playing the drums at church and with a few gospel bands. Although he has considered degrees in other fields of study, he has always been drawn back to music and therefore enrolled to study Jazz at UKZN in 2013. Apart from his studies, he is currently a session drummer who records and performs with various musicians and artists. Riley has performed with artists such as Hugh Masekela, Neil Gonsalves, Brian Simpson, Mike Del Ferro and Raphael Clarkson. He also teaches drums at Kearsney College and gives private lessons in drums, keyboard, and music theory.

"The music I am playing is from my time as a jazz student at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. I thought it would be fitting to celebrate this time, as it was one of my favourite times as a composer," says Giandhari.

Riley G's band consists of Sanele Phakathi on piano, Zibusiso Makhathini on keyboards, and Freeman Gumede on bass guitar.

Riley's noticeable performances include the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz Festival, the Oslo Jazz Festival, Cape Town International Jazz Festival, and Zakifo Music Festival. In 2018, he won two awards at the SAMRO Overseas Scholarship for Composers Competition. The 2020 Mzansi Jazz Awards nominated Riley G for Best Male Jazz Artist. His debut album titled Riley G – A Groove for the Nation was nominated for Best Contemporary Jazz Album. He holds a Masters in Music degree (Summa Cum Laude) from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Riley G plans on releasing his album The Riley G Collective' - Joseph's Mind in early 2021.

This programme is part of a unique joint curation between the Centre Creative Arts and Centre for Jazz & Popular Music, both existing at the UKZN. All parties involved are invested in showcasing the vast pool of talent that Durban has while using the great spaces available in the city in unconventional ways.

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.

The Riley G concert will be available for streaming from January 5, 2021.

Tickets R30 available on

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