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Thandiswa Mazwai

Thandiswa Mazwai

as part of our annual mzansi fela festival

Author: San Mari/01 October 2017/Categories: Festival, Concert, Main Artistic Program

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Event date: 2017-12-08 08:00 PM - 10:00 PM Export event

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Date: Friday, 8 December 2017
Time: 20:00
Venue: Opera Theatre


Thandiswa is one of the most influential South African Musicians of this generation. She began her career in 1998 with Bongo Maffin, one of the pioneering bands of Kwaito. After 6 award−winning albums with Bongo Maffin she ventured onto a solo career. Zabalaza (2004), her debut project, reached double platinum status and won numerous awards and her critically acclaimed second album ‘Ibokwe’ (2009) reached gold status in the first few weeks of its release. Her third solo studio album is Belede (2016) is a collection of reinterpretations of legendary South African Jazz and protest anthems from the 1950s and 1960s. Thandiswa’s selection is inspired by the music she listened to whilst growing up and her re-framing of these classics serves as commentary on South Africa’s contemporary political landscape. 

Thandiswa’s music travels through the village into the ghetto and raises the roof in the city. Her compositions today include traditional Xhosa rhythms, mbaqanga, reggae, kwaito, house, funk and jazz. Through this, she straddles the urban and the rural, effortlessly melding the traditional with the modern. It is with this spirit that Thandiswa has performed all over the world at venues including: the FIFA 2010 World Cup Opening Ceremony, the Apollo Theatre, Radio City Hall, Womex, The Cannes Film Festival, Africa Express, and BBC World Music Awards. The Guardian referred to Thandiswa as “South Africa’s finest female contemporary singer.”  

Project highlights: Thandiswa splits her time between tours in South Africa, Pan Africa, and Europe to be announced soon… studio working various solo and side projects in pre-production for her next solo studio album, whilst initiating and participating in community activism and outreach projects… Watch this space! ‘KING THA VS BLK JKS’ the EP in thew works is a mash up of Punk meets Afrobeats by the King herself, blending her signature traditional African vocals with an afro-punk esque energy, in collaboration with Mzansi’s original punk rock crew BLK JKS. Fans can expect an EP of material released late 2017/early 2018 in line with their Afro Punk Joburg, London, Paris and Brooklyn dates in the new year. There really is nothing else that sounds like this! Thandiswa’s new solo work working title ‘Love & Rage’. The songs are currently in pre-production with some of Thandiswa’s long time band members. The subject matter is an interrogation of black love and black rage in post Mandela South Africa. It is a work in progress…

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