Madiba magic in musical mix

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TO NDR ALBERT FROST . GUITAR GURU: Albert Frost plays at Open Strings on Saturday.

YET another long weekend begins, with National Youth Day on Monday, and there’s plenty of entertainment on offer. From Zakes Bantwini to Albert Frost and Nibs van der Spuy, there’s something for everyone.

Monday brings the much-anticipated Upfront with Zakes Bantwini concert to the Playhouse.

This Youth Day show will include tracks from Bantwini’s latest album, The Fake Book & Real Book: My Music Bible.

This year, the kwaito artist decided to dedicate the show to Nelson Mandela and our 20 years of democracy.

Chatting about the concept, Bantwini says: “When we celebrate freedom, we think of Mandela.

“He is the icon of that particular freedom as he was the first president to be elected in the new democracy, so it fits and we celebrate him.”

TO NDR Zakes_Bantwini_2 PAYING TRIBUTE: The annual Upfront with Zakes Bantwini takes place on Monday at the Playhouse. Supplied

With the show in its third year, I ask how he makes each concert different and more memorable than the last.

“I talk about issues that the country has never been able to talk about musically. Last year, I asked the youth to wear their uniforms to the show.

“This year, it’s about our democracy. I always think about the issues and what I want to achieve.

“And if they want to wear their uniform, they can or they can wear their Nelson Mandela T-shirt – or anything pertaining to Mandela.”

The concert will include performances by Judith Sephuma, Liquideep, iFani, Bucie and Khaya Mthethwa, all of whom have been chosen for the line-up by Bantwini.

“To those attending, I would like for them to get there early because in my show, it’s very strong in the first set,” Bantwini says.

“That’s where the tribute happens.

“If you want to know more about me and how I relate to Mandela, get there early. If you miss it, you won’t get the concept behind the whole Mandela story.”

At Open Strings in Kloof, guitarist Albert Frost will be performing on Saturday.

Frost uses a loop pedal that enables him to showcase his ability with the acoustic and the electric guitar.

Opening for him is local musician, Nicholas Olsen, of Jimmu 12”, Perez and Sonofold.

Then, on Sunday, troubadour Van der Spuy, pianist Christopher Duigan, Kaolin Thomson, Erin Fourie and Ella Grealy will perform at the 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day concert.

Taking place at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site in Howick, this is an initiative that aims to collect thousands of handmade blankets to be distributed to those in need on Nelson Mandela Day on July 18.

The KwaZulu-Natal Arts and Culture Department’s annual choral competition also takes place this weekend. Nineteen choirs will compete in the event, which will be held at the Imbizo Hall in Empangeni on Saturday and Sunday from 9am.

The programme includes emerging, intermediate and advanced categories as well as small ensembles. This year the competition celebrates the country’s 20 years of democracy. The guest choir, African Chorus, will perform.

• Albert Frost is at Open Strings at 7.30pm on Saturday. R100. Call 082 653 3948. On Sunday, the 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day concert starts at noon, blanket handover at 2.30pm. See www.67blankets.com. On Monday, catch Upfront with Zakes Bantwini at the Playhouse Company at 7.30pm. Tickets R150 at Computicket.


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