Mandla Mlangeni Photo: Alexia Webster
Cape Town – The Amandla Freedom Ensemble, led by Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz 2019 Mandla Mlangeni, will embark on its most ambitious project, with a performance in Johannesburg at Ginz on Dynasty and a week-long residency in Cape Town.

Described as a multidisciplinary, genre-bending and intergeneration collaborative endeavour, the Oratorio of a Forgotten Youth will span two months, leading up to a performance of Oratorio Of A Forgotten Youth at the Artscape Theatre on June 15.

The Ensemble will collaborate with the strongest musical forces within the jazz, classical and indigenous scenes, while also working with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, UWC Choir and trailblazing poet Koleka Putuma.

“This new endeavour with creative director Mandla Mbothwe at the helm seeks to create new ways of seeing ourselves and the world in which we live,” said the organisers.

“Oratorio of a Forgotten Youth brings together Mlangeni and the Centre For Humanities Research in collaboration with Artscape, in a creative pairing that seeks to be the springboard for the production and execution of bold new ideas of reimagining spaces for creative discourse.”

The Ensemble’s week-long residency in Stellenbosch and Cape Town from Sunday to May 16 is made possible in association with Africa Open Institute, the Interdisciplinary Forum for Popular Music, Jazz In The Native Yard and Mlangeni’s residency at The Centre For Humanities Research.

Event organisers said Johannesburg-based band Amandla Freedom Ensemble’s residency in Cape Town was an opportunity to collaborate with other seemingly disjointed genres of arts: “Imagine a cutting-edge jazz ensemble paired with the Cape Town Philharmonic and the award-winning UWC Choir.

“One is bound to be drawn to the sheer audacity of this project, in that it will create new and interesting narratives juxtaposed with choral renditions on the struggles of our past, while swinging through the perplexities of our present day and conducting the foundations of our future.”

Amandla Freedom Ensemble consists of Mandla Mlangeni (trumpet), Nhlanhla Mahlangu (alto sax), Gontse Makhene percussion), Siya Makuzeni (trombone and vocals) and Yonela Mnana (piano and vocals).

Cape Times