Jazz and jokes at State Theatre’s Rendezvous this November
When it comes to the finest in South African jazz and comedy, the State Theatre’s Rendezvous Theatre has made a name for itself as a venue that knows what its audience wants.
This November, the jazz line-up includes Herbie Tsoaeli and Luyanda Madope on 13 November, Nqobile Sibeko and Spha Mdlalose on 20 November, and Three Steps Within and Mandla Mlangeni on 27 November.
And the fabulous Tshwane Comedy Nights will see Kedibone Mulaudzi, Thabiso Mlhlongo, Panch Gaselo and TT on November 14, and 2Lani McKing, Suhayl Essa, Smanga Mthembu and Thoby Khanyile on 28 November.
Three Steps Within
Three Steps Within was formed with the intention to try and create a space/project where independent artists can pull their respective resources together and develop an ongoing and sustainable collaboration. Its members – McCoy MRUBATA (Saxophonist, Flautist, Composer and Arranger, Educator, Producer and Band Leader). LINDIWE MAXOLO (Vocalist, Composer, Educator and Band Leader) and CONCORD NKABINDE (Bassist, Vocalist, Composer and Arranger, Educator, Producer and Band Leader) – have been delighting audiences across South Africa ever since.
Raised in Soweto, Johannesburg, this young vibrant graduate of music composition from the University of Cape Town writes and performs with his band, The Tune and Recreation Committee (TRC) and performs regularly as a freelance musician in various capacities. As well as leading the TRC he has been active in numerous other projects in Norway, Sweden, Germany, Israel, Britain and Botswana where he performs a variety of music ranging from Classical, Jazz, Pop, Balkan and Indigenous African Music.
He has performed with many celebrated musicians including Barney Rachabane, Marcus Wyatt, John Davies, Hugh Masekela, Sipho Hotstix Mabuse and Khaya Mahlangu just to name a few. A strong believer in giving back to the community he taught music at the Mannenberg High School as well as Alex Sinton High School.
Spha is a Durban born vocalist. She fell in love with jazz when she joined a jazz band in high school then later studied at the University of Cape Town’s South African College of Music degree majoring in Jazz Vocal performance. She was taught by Abigail Petersen and Mike Campbell and graduated with an average 81% for her final BMUS recital making the Deans Merit List.
Over the years, she was tutored by Darryl Andrews, Amanda Tiffin, Jason Reolon and most recently (2011) Dutch bassist Hein Van Der Geyn who has worked with Chet Baker, Dee Dee Bridgewater and other commended jazz musicians from all around the world. In her years as a student, she has had a budding career, having performed with the Mike Campbell Symphonic Orchestra on numerous occasions.
She has performed alongside Bheki Khoza, Sibongile Khumalo, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and other known South African artists. She was also fortunate to tour with Grammy nominated Josh Groban when he visited South Africa on his Straight to You tour.
Born into a musical, Christian family based in Durban, Nqobile Sibeko’s passion for music started at a very early age listening to legends such as Gibson Kente and a wide variety of Classical and Negro Spiritual music.
Her singing started at church but her real start to her music career started when she entered competitions like “Shell Road to Fame” and later teamed up with Janice Honeymoons musical Jubilations, went on to work with Walter Chakela on “Sophia Town” Thellonius Monk”.
This set the scene for her to feature in a number of musical stage plays such as Guard on Shift and Africa Mamas. Over the years she evolved to be part locally established gospel groups such as Emmanuel Music Group as well as the well-known SAMA award winner Joyous Celebration.
Over the years Nqobile has also been performing as a solo artist were she was in pursuit of strengthening her songwriting and producing capabilities.
Through out her journey she’s worked with music giants such as the late jazz maestro Victor Ntoni, Sibongile Khumalo, Abigail Kubheka, Mthunzi Namba, Jabu Hlongwane to mention but a few. Among these collaborations was the Poetry project that she featured on which was with Napo Mashiane on “Fat Black Woman Sing”.
Herbie Tsoaeli cut his musical teeth in Nyanga East Township, Cape Town, South Africa, where he was born and raised. Since moving to Johannesburg in 1995 Herbie has developed a reputation as one of the most accomplished and in-demand electric and acoustic bass players in the country.
Herbie performs regularly with Zim Ngqawana, Bheki Khoza, Sibongile Khumalo, and the legendary South African tenor saxophonist, Winston Mankunku Ngozi. He is the featured bassist on Mankunku’s 2003 album Abantwana be Afrika.
In music circles Luyanda Madope needs no introduction. His trajectory has been well documented. Pianist, producer and session musician, Madope brings with him a treasure trove of accolades. Asanda Bum’s critically acclaimed Afro-Soul album “Fragile” is a true testament of Madope’s arsenal. The young producer also lent his Midas touch to Judith Sephuma’s “I Am I a Living Testimony” album. The aforementioned projects established Madope as a formidable force in the music industry.
Madope’s production on Jazz legend McCoy Mrubata’s project Braaskaap Sessions Volume 2 serves to do away with any inclination to compartmentalize him in a particular genre following the good reception his work with Asanda Bam enjoyed. The album sees the young producer venture into traditional jazz compositions. This should not be too much of a surprise to anyone who has heard Madope’s co-production on guitarist Kunle Ayo’s album “Best of Both Worlds”.
A graduate of FUBA, Madope’s resume includes working with international artists such as Gerald Albright, Billy Ocean, Ken Philmore and Soweto Kinch. Of course locally Madope has played with virtually everybody, the late Victor Ntoni, Vusi Khumalo, Ringo Madlingozi, Selealo Selota, Kabomo, Sphokazi RJ Benjamin, Mbuso Khoza, Wanda Baloyi, and Hlubi Twiin.
Unsurprisingly, Madope also has theatre work under his belt. The young producer took part in theatre productions by Don Kinch, Vusi Kunene, Aubrey Sekgabi to name but a few.
Musicians of the calibre of Luyanda Madope are a constant reassurance that South African music is in good hands.
The one thing that sets Kedibone apart from his peers is that he writes his sets for international audiences, his jokes are funny in South Africa and anywhere else in the word. His topics are based on everyday life, childhood upbringing, observations and international current affairs and a bit of subjects that people do talk about and also those that they don’t talk about, but wait for comedians to do comedy about. Kedibone is the guy next door, the comedians’ comic, the class clown that grew up to do just that. With a handful of standing ovations and encores performances for all South African State Presidents (Dr Nelson Mandela, Mr Thabo Mbeki and President Jacob Zuma) and two Nobel Peace Prize winners (Dr Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu) there is no doubt that Kedibone Mulaudzi is one of the few top South African comedians that delivers, unlike most politicians. Kedibone is destined for greater things and landmarks in the world of standup comedy.
Essa is an up and coming stand-up comedian who, in his spare time studies medicine. “Laughter isn’t the best medicine,” he says. “It helps though.”
Thoby Khanyile has been in an “on and off” relationship with comedy, but not anymore. He’s been hard at work at his art and without doubt going places. He’s a regular at clubs like Bambatha Comedy Night, The Oz Pub Comedy Nights, and Parkers.
This up and coming comedian matriculated from uThukela High School in Durban and has been doing stand-up comedy since 2009. He described his job as “I go to stage, I tell lies, they laugh and I get my cash.”
The Rendezvous Theatre is housed within the South African State Theatre, which is situated in the vibrant heart of Pretoria’s CBD. Tickets cost R100 and are available at Computicket. For more information visit www.statetheatre.co.za or call the theatre on 012 392 4000.