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Trumpeter Sydney Mavundla to honour Bra Hugh at the ‘Jazzy July’ concert

Sydney Mavundla. Picture: Supplied

Sydney Mavundla. Picture: Supplied

Published Jul 6, 2022

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Jazzy July is back at the Market Theatre with a star-studded line-up that includes Sydney Mavundla, Carlo Mombelli, Billy Monama and Marcus Wyatt.

Kicking things off this Friday, July 8, is legendary Trumpeter Sydney Mavundla, who is thrilled to make his debut solo performance at the Market.

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In a conversation with IOL Entertainment, Mavundla says he is looking forward to engaging fully with the audience for the first time in two years.

“‘I’m very excited to be back on stage, playing to a live audience. My band and I are looking forward to this experience.

“More than anything, I believe we’re going to have a good time, enjoying good music.

“When I started, my band used to be a sextet and then a quintet and this time I’m bringing only four people on stage, which is a new experience. And we will be bringing new music as well.”

The muso adds that this celebration of jazz is his way of remembering and celebrating the lives of musical legends, who contributed to the transformation of this country.

“I'll do a special tribute to all the Jazz legends including Hugh Masekela, and all the musicians that are no longer with us.

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“I met Bra Hugh in 1992, during my first year of varsity. We reconnected again many years later when I moved back to Joburg.

“We worked together over the years. I recorded two of his albums.

“In the song that I recorded for him, in my new album, I’m saying to Bra Hugh, ‘know that you are loved,’ and tell the others the same.

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“My forthcoming album talks about our forefathers who paved the way for us, it’s a dedication to all the Jazz legends.

“There is also a song for Dr Brian Thusi, who mentored me. When I did my first year at varsity, I stayed at his house, hence I say the whole recording that we did, which is not out yet, is all dedicated to these incredible human beings that impacted change, not only my life but in the entire music landscape.”

Mavundla started playing the trumpet at the age of 14. In 1986, he was introduced to Prince Lengoasa who was his first formal teacher and later that year he studied with Dr Thusi.

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In 1995, he won a scholarship to study at the USA Florida International University with the renowned Cuban trumpeter Arturo Sandoval and John Bailey (USA).

Carlo Mombelli. Picture: Jonathon Rees

Returning to the Market after many years is a self-taught bass player, band leader and composer Carlo Mombelli.

He has recorded and performed at many international festivals, including the Rome Villa Celimontana Jazz Festival, Stockholm Jazz Festival, and German Moers and Banlieues Bleues festival in Paris.

Billy Monama. Picture: Simphiwe Mhlambi

Adding a string twist to the magic is a virtuoso guitarist and composer Billy Monama, who recently published his first book titled “Introduction to South African Guitar Styles Vol. 1”

The book explores the history of the guitar in Black South African popular music over five decades and the most important styles to have evolved around it: marabi, maskanda, African jazz, kwela, mbaqanga and XiTsonga.

Over the years, Monama has worked with Themba Mkhize, Abdullah Ibrahim, Sibongile Khumalo, Victor Ntoni, Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse, Mbongeni Ngema, Dorothy Masuku, Abigail Kubeka and many others.

Marcus Wyatt. Picture: Jonathon Rees

Marcus Wyatt will deliver a magical end to this carefully curated music feast.

Wyatt is part of a new generation of South African musicians who are respectful of the past yet moving forward without fear of twisting boundaries.

He has performed around the globe and worked with an array of musicians, from Manu Dibango, Abdullah Ibrahim and Miriam Makeba to Maria Schneider, John Faddis, Bheki Mseleku, Lionel Loueke and Steve Turre.

Below is the line-up.

Sydney Mavundla: July 8 and 9

Carlo Mombelli: July 15 and 16

Billy Monama: July 22 and 23

Marcus Wyatt: July 29 and 30

Tickets are available at Webtickets from R70 to R150.

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