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15 - 24 November 2024


Sikelela, thirty years on: A celebration of the South African Jazz tradition and avant garde

Sikelela, thirty years on: A celebration of the South African Jazz tradition and avant garde

Sun 24 November 2024

Stage time / 7:30pm

Doors / 7:00pm

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Silk Street


£20 - £35 + booking fee

On the occasion of the 30th year of democracy in South Africa, the Festival celebrates the outburst of avant-garde coming out of this inspirational musical landscape.

Taking the cue from the word Sikelela meaning “blessing” - from the first phrase in the South African national anthem – this event celebrates a tradition of Ingoma as a practice in the intimate exercise of liberation in action. This special concert invites the visionaries from the current scene which is referred to as the avant-garde of the Jazz and live music scene from South Africa. 

The line-up is curated by The Brother Moves On’s Siyabonga Mthembu and pianist, composer, singer Thandi Ntuli, bringing together a stellar line up including Bokani DyerThandiswa Mazwai, Keenan Meyer, The Brother Moves On, Chelsea Carmichael, Soweto Kinch and many more.

No space on this globe encapsulates a hope for what was promised than South Africa. We should never downplay that hope as naive as its insistence is for the South Africa that was promised. In this exercise of Revisiting the Rainbow thirty years later, and still insisting on Sikelela, the artists on this line-up have consistently meditated on the persistence of iNkululeko through Sankofa in their work. In order to understand the chemistry of life and resistance, let us not forget why we were placed here. A reluctance to ever forget that you belong to the ones who feed you. Working with duos and trios is a curatorial homage to those formats and how our in our township and black artists have chosen them because of the constraints of existing in one of the most unequal nations on the planet. These formats support intimacy by bringing together practitioners who, via their art, capture the essence of a nation coming to terms with thirty years of freedom—a liberation Letta Mbuli aptly sums up as "Not yet Uhuru."

In reading this glossary one must always keep the Nguni idiom isintu asitholikwa which means culture/language and cannot be translated (especially in the home of the colonial).

Sikelela - Zulu word for being blessed, be a blessing. The first word from Enoch Sontonga's anthem for God to Bless Africa.

Ingoma - Nguni word for song, and the root word for Sangoma who are our healers who heal via the vibrational and the natural.

Rainbow Revisited - Thandi Ntuli's latest duo album with Carlos Ninos releasee by International Anthem.

iNkululeko - Zulu word for Freedom, liberation.

Sankofa - (SAHN-koh-fah) – A Twi word from the Akan Tribe of Ghana that loosely translates to, “go back and get it.” Its literal translation comes from the Akan proverb, "Se wo were fi na wosan kofa a yenkyiri," meaning, "It is not taboo to go back for what you forgot (or left behind)." Sankofa is a phrase that encourages learning from the past to inform the future, reaching back to move forward, and lifting as we climb. Sankofa is also the current album released by Thandiswa Mazwai.

Uhuru - Swahili word for freedom and Independence.

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