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Tuesday, July 18, 2023



(Above: Guy Buttery & Madala Kunene. Pic by Jess Sterk)

Guy Buttery and Madala Kunene will perform at 15h00 on July 30, 2023, in the Margot Chamberlain Recital Hall, Chamberlain Music Centre at Hilton College.

As fate would have it, Madala Kunene and Guy Buttery met in 2006 on a film set. Both primarily being guitar players, albeit from different musical backgrounds, this initial meeting centred around a TV series featuring South African artists with no previous interaction, who were then teamed up to collaborate on camera.

Despite there being 36 years difference between Kunene and Buttery, sparks flew right away. Madala and Guy have collaborated a number times over all these years but a recent artist residency and subsequent concert at the Nirox Foundation in 2022 has taken this collaboration to new heights.

Madala Kunene, commonly referred to as the “King of the Zulu Guitar”, has no interest in genre specifications and prescriptions. His idiosyncratic brand of blues operates in an opaque space where cool jazz, maskandi, mbaqanga, and a myriad of East Coast blues intersect. Madala is a genre unto himself. Born in 1947 in Mkhumbane (Cato Manor), a vibrant mixed community just outside of inner Durban, Kunene reflects his environment and his music acts as an urban war cry. His music is a portrait of an artist as a not-so-young man of faith, a sonic investigation that tries to make sense of the gradual process of sanitizing history—how the real past is purged for the sake of a historical sound bite. Kunene is an artist who is constantly shifting between musical habitats.

“Music is the best medium to record and tell history. As African people, the way we know and understand our past is very influenced by music,” Kunene says. “So if I can add one layer of context that can help in understanding this period in our history, then that is great.”

“Guy Buttery is something of a National treasure”, says South Africa’s leading newspaper. As an internationally-recognised musician, this multi-instrumentalist enjoys invitations to play sell-out performances all over the globe. The USA, UK, Australia, France, Brazil, India and Italy have all welcomed him back year after year. However, to simply label Guy Buttery as one of South Africa’s musical phenoms would be an injustice. His international role has surpassed merely performing concerts to foreign audiences. It has evolved into one as an ambassador of South African music, inspiring people across the world with his home-grown style at the very heart of his talent and tenacity. Guy’s distinct unification of South African guitar music is the musical advocate for everything positive and beautiful about the place he calls home.

At the age of 18, Guy Buttery’s debut album was nominated for ‘Best Newcomer’ and ‘Best Instrumental’ at the South African Music Awards (SAMA’s) making him the youngest nominee in the history of the event. He then went on to collect two SAMA’s in 2010 and again in 2014. In 2018, Guy received the highest accolade for a musician in South Africa and was awarded the Standard Bank Young Artist Award. In almost four decades of honouring artist throughout the country, this was the first time since its inception that the award was presented to a musician outside of the classical realm

Together, Madala and Guy have unearthed new musical landscapes taking cyclical Zulu guitar patterns to the East and back again in a psychedelic layering of textures, deeply rooted in KwaZulu-Natal. Expect high dynamics, deep grooves, delicate African inflections and mind-bending string playing of an entirely new order.

They will perform at 15h00 on July 30, 2023, in the Margot Chamberlain Recital Hall, Chamberlain Music Centre at Hilton College

Tickets R200. Pre-sale tickets: or contact Luke Holder: / 0836891935

The College is situated at 1 Hilton College Avenue, Hilton.