Celebrate Heritage Day with jazz musicians

Afro-folk singer Msaki

The Jazz in the Native Yards presents the Heritage Jazz Weekend with Chilean jazz guitarist Tito al Uribe and Afro-folk singer Msaki on Sunday and Monday September 23 and 24, at Kwa Sec, NY 138 in Gugulethu, from 3pm.

On Sunday Uribe will perform with young local jazz musicians Tefo Mahola (drums) and Steve de Sousa (bass).

In 2015 Uribe moved to from his native Chile to settle in Rwanda where he has been interacting with many Rwandan musicians. He arrived in Rwanda with his wife who works with the Belgian Embassy and set up a school that teaches “real jazz style”, he says.

A multi-style solo guitarist, arranger and composer of 40 years, Uribe is excited to be coming down to Cape Town to work with young musicians.

“My passion has always been to work with a variety of musicians from all backgrounds,” he says.

“Coming to South Africa to work with young musicians and do a performance that celebrates Heritage Day and a variety of diverse cultures is a great opportunity for me. Music has a universal power to bring people together from all backgrounds, this is a best way to celebrate” say Uribe.

On Monday Msaki, who will perform with a local band says she is excited to be back in Gugulethu after performing to full capacity audience in April.

“I love the Jazz in the Native Yards space at Kwa Sec. It gives you a sense of going back home. And, what better time to do it than on Heritage Day?” says Msaki.

Well-known as Msaki, Asanda Lusaseni Mvana was born in the East London and grew up between East London, Butterworth, Grahamstown, Peddie, Nqamakhwe and Cathcart where her love of music was rooted within family.

“My father was a great influence in my music career,” says Msaki.

“He was a DJ while studying at the University of Fort Hare. He also ran choirs,” she explains.

“My grandfather was a well-known composer,” she adds.

Msaki’s compositions combine soulful folk with symphonic movements, Xhosa lyrics and African polyrhythms.

While studying Visual Art and Design in East London in 2008, she became part of an alternative rock band. She started spending time in friend’s studios and contributed to the underground music scene where music was recorded and shared unofficially.

In 2009 went to Grahamstown to further her studies in Visual Arts where she formed her first band.

A self-taught guitarist who first picked up the instrument in 2010 while on student exchange programme at Leeds University in England, Msaki spent long hours in her room writing songs. In 2012 she was selected to study in North Carolina USA with 30 other artists, musicians and writers.

“It is at that time that I focused on creating music,” says Msaki.

“Finding my own spirituality led me to expressing myself much more freely through music and on my return home, I signed with indie label, One Shushu Day Artistry,” she explains.

In 2013, Msaki independently recorded and released an EP called Nal’ithemba which was produced by Cobus Van Dyk.

She then released her debut album Zaneliza: How the Water Moves, with One Shushu Day Artisty in 2016.

“Zaneliza is about loss, hope and the wave-like rhythms in between those two states of being,” says Msaki.

The album was co-produced with award-winning jazz pianist Nduduzo Makhatini. Msaki is currently promoting Zaneliza with exciting international appearances, nation-wide gigs and interesting collaborations line-up this year.

Tickets for the Sunday gig are R120, and R80 for students and pensioners. To see Msaki on Monday, you will pay R100, or R80 for students and pensioners.