Sisonke Xonti returns to his roots

Sisonke Xonti makes his return to Gugulethu in a performance of African jazz and his own compositions at Jazz in the Native Yards on Sunday February 28, from 4pm at kwa Sec, NY 138 no. 52.

Joining him on stage will be pianist Nick Williams, bassist Romy Brauteseth, drummer Claude Cozens and guitarist Keenan Ahrends.

Sisonke started playing music at the age of 10, but it was only when he turned 13 that he fell in love with the saxophone and continued playing classical saxophone until receiving his UNISA Grade 8 Distinction in 2006.

His introduction to jazz came at the age of 16, when he joined the Cape Town-based band, The Little Giants, led by George Werner and the late Ezra Ngcukana.

That same year (2004), he was selected to be a part of the School’s Big Band at the Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Festival, in Grahamstown.

In 2007, Sisonke was selected for the National Youth Band for the first time under the leadership of Dr Andrew Lilley.

He has since played with acclaimed musicians including Jimmy Dludlu, Victor Ntoni, Lira, Hugh Masekela, Judith Sephuma, DJ Christos, DJ Vinny DA Vinci, Herbie Tsoaeli, Feya Faku, Freshlyground, Neo Muyanga, Bheki Khoza, Abdullah Ibrahim, Kyle Shepherd, Bokani Dyer, Marcus Wyatt and Lwanda Gogwana.

Sisonke has performed at various international jazz festivals including The Cape Town International Jazz Festival, The Standard Bank Joy of Jazz, The Grahamstown Jazz Festival and The Calabar Jazz Festival in Nigeria.

He has also performed in China, Mozambique, Angola, Reunion Islands, Switzerland, among other countries.

* Jazz in the Native Yards starts at 4pm sharp. It’s R60 at the gate for two 45 minutes sets. Food and drinks will be on sale.