MUSIC legends need to be honoured while they’re still with us and long after they have gone. Because though they have left us, their music never will.
Which is why Durban guitarist Mthunzi Mchunu and his band are hosting a tribute show to jazz guitarist Ronny Jordan, who died in January. Widely regarded as the originator of acid jazz, Jordan was a Grammy-nominated artist who touched the lives of many South African musicians, including Mchunu, who’s toured with legends like Sibongile Khumalo, Robbie Malinga and Babo and Sgwili.
The tribute show, which takes place on Sunday at the newly established Pharoez Lounge, at the Royal Hotel, also happens to be Mchunu’s project with his managerial team, Kwezi Mkhize and Sifiso Majola.
Tonight caught up with the guys to learn more about the show.
“The music of Ronny Jordan was a huge inspiration and a huge influence on me… This tribute is to commemorate his contributions to the music industry and pushing the guitar chair to the next level in his own way. The push for this tribute has been brewing for a long time and now that… Pharoez Lounge and Restaurant at the Royal Hotel has come on board, the final link has been put into place,” Mchunu says.
Besides Mchunu, the band includes pianist Burton Naidoo, drummer Shaun Petersen (who played with Jordan for years) and Brayden Hore.
In terms of their set, the band will perform some of Jordan’s most memorable songs, such as Night and Day, After Hours, Tinseltown and Tease. There will also be songs written by Mchunu in Jordan’s style.
According to Mchunu, the show will be a monthly event at the venue featuring different acts.
Chatting about Pharoez Lounge and restaurant, Mkhize says: “So far, so good. For now, we’re just calling people to perform whom we have seen play. We’re trying to put people out there and the type of clientele that we do invite over is the type of clientele that can actually invest in someone if they see potential. It’s a great platform for musicians to showcase what they can do.”
Back to the tribute show, and Mkhize says the band will pull out all the stops: “People can expect solos to showcase each member in the band. Mo’s band is not like most bands where the lead guitarist is the only one who has solos. He gives each member their solo because all of them are really good, from the bass player to the drummer.”