Thandiswa Mazwai set to wow New York fans this Sunday

Thandiswa Mazwai, ‘Daughter of the soil’. Picture: Supplied

Thandiswa Mazwai, ‘Daughter of the soil’. Picture: Supplied

Published Jan 11, 2024


South African musician Thandiswa Mazwai is planning to wow audiences in the Big Apple on Sunday, January 14, at globalFEST, hosted by THE Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

The celebration marks the 21st edition of globalFEST, a full day of music and performances featuring artists from around the world, across three stages, inside David Geffen Hall.

Mazwai, who is a stalwart in the South African music scene, initially gained prominence in 1995 with the pioneering Kwaito band Bongo Maffin. After six award-winning albums with the group, Mazwai embarked on a successful solo career.

Her debut solo project, "Zabalaza" (2004), achieved double platinum status and garnered accolades such as a Kora award for Best African Female and four South African Music Awards.

Additionally "Ibokwe" (2009) and "Belede" (2016), reached gold status shortly after their respective launches.

Mazwai's influence extends globally, having performed at popular venues, including the FIFA 2010 World Cup Opening Ceremony, the Apollo Theatre, Radio City Hall, The Cannes Film Festival, Africa Express, BBC World Music Awards, TED, Afropunk, and the Carnegie Hall Citywide Festival among others.

This celebration marks the 21st edition of globalFEST, a full day of music and performances featuring artists from around the world across three stages inside David Geffen Hall. Picture: INSTAGRAM

Mazwai said: “We look forward to heading back to NYC with GlobalFEST and can’t wait to create sacred spaces for healing and freedom at the world renowned Lincoln Centre.”

“What is also exciting is that so many people that are involved in the making of my upcoming album Sankofa are also performing in New York this coming weekend.

“Meshell Ndegeocello who produced a few songs, will be doing a residency at the Blue Note, Nduduzo Makhathini is playing the New York winter jazz fest, and one of my new favourites Julius Rodriguez who plays piano on some the songs will also be performing.

“So New York will be all wrapped up in the sounds of Sankofa this weekend,” she added.

Throughout her illustrious career, Mazwai has shared the stage with musical legends such as Salif Keita, Hugh Masekela, Busi Mhlongo, Stevie Wonder, Cesaria Evora, and Paul Simon.

Her upcoming performance at globalFEST promises to be a highlight, showcasing the rich tapestry of her musical journey.

Besides featuring Mazwai, the line-up includes the electronic-infused Indo-classical sounds of Karsh Kale, Yasser Tejeda's innovative take on Afro Dominican Roots music, and the soul-stirring performances of Brazilian activist Bia Ferreira.

The line-up also boasts the Catalan electro-folk duo Tarta Relena, Lonnie Holley with his spontaneously created sounds and the psychedelic Moroccan-French Gnawa quartet, Bab L’ Bluz.

Adding to the global flavour, GRAMMY award-winning Villalobos Brothers bring a fusion of Mexican folk with jazz and classical music.

The contemporary Puerto Rican Bomba band El Laberinto del Coco promises to captivate audiences, while the Ukrainian-Canadian Balaklava Blues blends Ukrainian polyphony and folk traditions with electronica.

@nomvelo_nyaba commented: “I’ve always wanted to attend your shows when I was in SA, lol but was too broke and young to attend. I’m so excited I’ll finally see you performing in NYC. I’ll be there!!!!”

@gino_black_nyc wrote: “I’m definitely coming through.”