Lefifi Tladi is a Jazz poet, philosopher and painter. In 1969 he co-founded the jazz band, Malombo Jazz Messengers, which was later, called Dashiki Malopo, the trance-inducing music of the Bapedi, influenced Dashiki’s compositions. Tladi burst into the national South African political scene during the 1970s through participation in the Black Consciousness Movement’s cultural events. Groups such as MDALI, Batsumi, Malapanetharo, Black Arts Studios, and others around the country participated in the cultural events. Also he has painted many Jazz images and dedications to his Jazz musician friends. Now based in Sweden Lefifi is working on a new project combining African proverbs and artworks. He is also performing and releasing Jazz poetry CDs with Swedish musicians. In this episode we collaborate with Dr Jane Rucell, Aryan Kaganof, Frederic Iriarte and Chimurenga to create a vsiual collage and backdrop to the jazz and poetry ideas and ideologies of Lefifi Tladi.
Tu Nokwe has designed a personal development clock covering the 6 aspects of our life – Spiritual, Physical, Emotional, Creative, Business and Mental (SPECBM). To be fully functioning as an artist – all aspects need to be fed, checked and balanced. In this episode we are inpsired by the life story of a ground-breaking musical artist as we learn the mantra for success; “order creates comfort” and the self-management diary tool to get inside the heart of people, manage our lives and find balance with new methods concepts and exercises to develop a sense of personal empowerment.
Tu’s self management approach was first used by the performing artists of the Amajika Youth and Children Arts – a development unit of the Nokwe Creative Development Foundation. Amajika was formed by the Durban based Nokwe family in 1976 who identified a need to boost the self-esteem of the youth in an effort to counteract the mental and emotional abuse that was endemic to the apartheid system.
Tu has a distinguished personal musical dynasty as the daughter of swing jazz band musician, Alfred Nokwe and soprano soloist Patty. She has taken up a role in the industry as an educator, playing cross-over guitar, acting in Shaka Zulu and working with legendary Zulu umakhweyana- berimbau player and singer, Princess Magogo. She has a recording studio where she has produced music videos, and three music albums.
Sonik Citizens is about creating and functioning beyond where the eyes can see. Sonik Citizen is the musical expression of the Oneness that which we really are. Through hands on practicality and well resourced kn-whow the Sonik Citizen meets the challenges of any day, removes the ego from the creativity and just gets creativity. In this episode award winning multi-instrumentalist Mark Fransman presenst an overview of the approach to becoming a Sonik Citizen from the perspective of paying hommage to the gianst of music that have come before – Winston Mankunku, Robbie Janse, Errol Dyers and Allen Kwela.
Having worked with Gwangwa, Masekela, Bra Winston and Caiphus, Prince has lots of learning to share; from a compositional stand point and their different styles and approaches to rehearsing and presentation. Prince has many stories both pleasant and unpleasant of his journey with the greats. All stories are important because educating the future generations is also about letting them know about the pitfalls and things to avoid in dealing with people. Prince is characteristic in his Kangol back-to-front andy cap. But it is a feature of all these greats that they wore different hats such as caps for Mankunku, high beret for Gwangwa and a toppie for Caiphus.
From his training with the Salvation Army brass marching bands to his versatile career playing: jazz, classical music, gospel, kwaito, world music and mbaqanga, in this episode Prince takes us on a journey with the greats.
Pianist, composer and teacher Yonela Mnana, born blind in eDutywa in the Eastern Cape uses his multiple musical talents to present a uniqely South African approach to music education or what he calls – “Vernacularism.”
In this episode we will journey with Yonela into the intuitive heart of indigenous South African music and discover why our own South African music is THE foundation for learning and THE output for a successful musical career.
As Yonela says, "By holding that American music as a standard, rather than looking inward, or being interested in our own people close to us, that have walked in those spaces where we have walked. They become colonized in their thinking, are taught ways of thinking about the content, and end up judging themselves as less competent against those foreign standards. So, we have to change these lenses and perceptions of ourselves through our teachings." Yonela Mnana is pursuing his PhD degree at Johannesburg’s Wits University in South African Solo Jazz Pianism. He also teaches at a school for special needs in Katlehong.
Octavia's interest in music started at the age of 12 when she sung in school concerts at high school. When watching her father, Barney Rachabane, perform live at the Market Theatre, she wanted to perform with him. She said, "Music was all around me. I was bound to it in a way. I decided that this was the way I want to take. This is where I want to be. I love it, I enjoy it and I would be happy doing it and making money out of it."
Octavia has composed a lot of original material and worked with the likes of the late Glen Mafoko, Bheki Khoza, Khaya Mahlangu. She has performed with Scottish band Bwani Junction, at the Celtic Connections festival 2016. She performed with the UK saxophonist Jason Yard and in Louis Moholo's Dedication Orchestra. She performs alongside her father Barney Rachabane. Octavia latest album Reinvention is in preparation for release.
Octavia's career is going from strength to strength. At the age of 38 she is now stepping out from the side of legendary father and paving her own way. She says, "I want to be an individual. I want to make it on my own. The music is people's emotions, people's experiences. It is their lifestyle. I don't want to follow a certain trend. I want to do me.".
Steve Tsakiris is an educator, poet, healer and musician. He presents sound journeys under the title of ‘The magic and mystery of Sound’ and has produced three CDs of sound healing and instruction. Sound creates form and was used in the ancient cultures on ancient instruments to bring healing, change and manifestation through a knowledge of resonance, entrainment and intent.
In this episode we explore the power of sound as a focal point for creativity.
Dan Chiorboli founder of Awesome Africa music festival, the Liberation Orchestra and Solidarity Express has dedicated his career to promoting world music through festivals, collaborations and travelling projects. His latest musical offering Solidarity Express brings together a variety of msuicians including blues rock guitarist Andre Kriel and other guests. This episode takes us into the business of music festivals, cross-border musical collaborations and the global power of music as a vehicle for conscientising the public to long and lasting change.
Born in Italy and a percussion player, Dan has worked with the creme of musicians around the world such as Ray Phiri on the Awesome Africa festival and Black Moses Ngwenya on the Solidarity Express project. His musical approach brings people together using the diverse and brilliant South African music as a foundation. South Africa's struggle for equality and fairness has been linked with like-minded people all over the world through the uplifting musical soundtrack to our political struggle and our social philosophy of ubuntu. Dans approach to South African music showcases its unity through diversity and the major cultural role this music has played to preserve the human miracles of peace, unity, togetherness and ubuntu.