Michael Mwenso and Vuyo Sotashe - CANCELLED
152 King's Road
Whether fulfilling the role of vocalist, emcee, showman, or impresario, Michael Mwenso conveys both the sophistication and spontaneity of hardcore jazz and the music's folkloric roots with impeccable craft, creativity, and communicative flair.
Most frequently, Mwenso performs as leader-or ringleader-of Michael Mwenso and The Shakes, a revue comprising between three to five vocalists (they include himself, Brianna Thomas, Charenee Wade, and Vuyo Sotashe) and a 12-piece ensemble that includes rising stars like drummers Joe Saylor and Jameson Ross, pianist Chris Pattishall, trumpeters Alphonso Horne and Bruce Harris, and tenor saxophonist Tivon Pennicott. From time to time, internationally acclaimed singer Cecile McLorin Salvant and pianists Jonathan Batiste, Aaron Diehl and Sullivan Fortner-among others-augment this close-knit musical family. All developed their ideas and accrued public visibility at late night shows booked and overseen by Mwenso since 2012 (when he joined Jazz At Lincoln Center as Curator and Programming Associate) at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola at JALC's complex in New York's Time-Warner Center.
Tonight he shares the stage with young South African jazz vocalist, Vuyo (Vuyolwethu) Sotashe, who is gradually making his mark in the New York jazz scene. Sotashe moved to NYC in 2013 after being awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to pursue Master of Music (Spring 2015) at William Paterson University.
Since then, he has gone to win first prize at the very first Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival Vocal Competition in 2014, and performed on the festival's main stage in February of 2015. More recently, he won the Audience prize award and placed second over-all at the Shure Montreux Jazz Voice Competition in 2015, held at the annual Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. In the same he placed third in the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Vocal competition, where he was the very first male vocalist ever to place in the competition's finals.