national Arts Festival Banner

Wednesday, March 16, 2022


(Left: Dave Starke)

Arguably the KZN Midlands’ best-loved music venue, Music in The Hills (MiTH) is an opportunity for beginners, professionals, and passionate music fans to share the joy of music at The Knoll Historic Guest Farm in Hilton.

The next MiTH evening features Dave Starke and takes place on March 23, 2022.

21h00: Dave Starke with Strato Copteros

Dave Starke is a guitarist and singer-songwriter who originally hails from Cape Town, but has been based out of small-town KZN for the past 15 years. Formerly a history teacher, he took the plunge into full-time performance in 2018. He undertakes various projects ranging from cabaret tribute shows (Leonard Cohen, James Taylor) to Classic Rock (The Katembas) as well as his favourite medium of Folk Music. As an original artist, Dave has released two albums, Duende in 2018 and Shifting Boundaries in 2020. In 2017, he composed the Original Soundtrack for SA Indie-Art film, The Killing Floor. His festival appearances include The National Arts Festival Fringe, The Great Zululand Music Festival, White Mountain Festival and the Barleycorn Music Festival.

Strato is a writer, speaker, communications consultant and drummer based in KZN. He lectured Media Law & Ethics at the RU School of Journalism and Media Studies. He is originally from Johannesburg where he worked as freelance writer and corporate communications consultant. Strato plays drums for The Fishwives (with Lizzie Gaisford and Celery Burger) as well as The Katembas (with Dave Starke and Lizzie Gaisford). His festival appearances include The Cape Town Fringe, multiple National Arts Festivals, Oppikoppi, Rocking the Daisies, the Hugh Masekela Soweto Heritage Festival, the Great Zululand Music Festival and Wild Spirit.


20h00: Blackbird

Based in the KZN Midlands, Tanya Nicolson & Charles Webster bring you Blackbird - a surprisingly poignant yet uplifting vocal acoustic duo. Their diverse repertoire covers sultry jazz, upbeat folk, Indie styles with soul, & twists on contemporary classics. Having been in the acting & music world professionally since the age of 8, Tanya Nicolson has performed all over the country, in genres ranging from Cabaret to serious theatre with a fair amount of physical theatre, local & international film & TV in the mix there, too. Charles Webster with his smooth baritone and distinctive folk-rock rhythm guitar, has become a fixture of the local Midlands music scene over the last decade or more. He provides the perfect platform for Tanya’s vocal work whilst bringing his own singing talent and musicianship to the fore. Tanya & Charles have a deep-rooted friendship which gives their duo a somewhat tangible dynamic – truly evident in their heartfelt rapport on stage.


19h00: Kevin Gurney

Kevin Gurney is a guitarist and singer from Eston who has been playing for several years. He plays a range of acoustic folk and blues songs including some originals and his influences include legends such as Eric Clapton, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bob Marley and Bob Dylan, as well as current artists like Benjamin Tod, Tyler Childers, The Hill country devil and Mumford and sons.


Doors open at 18h00 and the music will kick off at 19h00. Entrance is R50 Cash or Zapper at the door. Bring your own booze. Food and soft drinks are available for sale.

All Covid-19 protocols observed

For more information, contact 082 331 7271. Visit for more details and directions. Musicians can contact for slots.


DIRECTIONS TO MiTH: Take the N3 to Hilton, take the Hilton turnoff and go South into the Village (away from Hilton College). Travel 5,2km along Hilton Avenue (past two sets of traffic lights and Crossways Pub) and keep going straight as Hilton Avenue turns into Dennis Shepstone Drive. At the 5,2km mark, Knoll Drive will be on your right – the entrance to MiTH is the *second* entrance on your left into The Knoll Historic Guest Farm.