Mango Groove trumpeter Banza Kgasoane was buried over the weekend. Picture Donovon Thorne

PRETORIA: Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa paid tribute to founding member of the Alexandra Brass Band and former Mango Groove trumpeter Banza Kgasoane, who died on Wednesday, December 9.

Mthethwa offered condolences to Kgasoane’s family.

His life’s work demonstrated an extraordinary ability to use his musical talents and gifts to enrich the lives of others, Mthethwa said.

“Coming from a musical family he must have grown up with a sense of rootedness in the musical culture of his times, with a firm sense of self-belief and a willingness to discover and learn something new.

Kgasoane was buried on Saturday.

“It is the mark of a true artist that when we look back at his life, we see perseverance, commitment and focus; a man who kept his trumpet close at hand and whose playing came from the heart.

“It is a testimony to his own sense of art as part of building a community that he was not content to travel the world, but that he also wanted to transform the lives of those around him. As the lead trumpeter in Mango Groove and as the founder of the Alexandra Brass Band, his contribution has been immense,” Mthethwa said.

“Like his father before him, Bra Banza has passed his passion on to the next generation. We salute him as a man of culture, a maker of music, and a family man – a husband, a father, a creative soul, without which our lives would have been poorer.

“We join the Kgasoane family, his friends, fellow musicians and fans in mourning his passing and in bidding our last respects to this great son of our soil,” Mthethwa said.