International Jazz Day South Africa
Bongani Madondo is an author-social &cultural critic/curator and playwright who contributes to local and overseas publications and public spaces. He has published widely on literature, music, visual arts, iconography and socio-politics in publications such as The New York Times, Mail & Guardian, Zembla, and "Transition": The official journal of the WEB Du Bois' School of African and African-American Studies. He is the author of "Hot Type", a collection of miniature biographies on pop stars and thugs, and editor-author of "I'm Not Your Weekend Special" an anthology on the life & style of Brenda Fassie. An Advanced Arts fellow of the Katzen Centre of the Arts at the American University in Washington DC, where he was awarded the prestigious National Endowement of the Arts by the State Dept. of the American government --- Madondo is widely respected for both his singular, and perceiptive brand of intensely personal narrative long-form journalism. Until recently he was Rolling Stone magazine's in-house rock & blues residential essayist.
McCoy Mrubata - Saxophonist, flute player, band leader and composer Born in 1959 in Cape Town’s historic Langa township, South Africa. Reedman McCoy Mrubata grew up with the sounds of African music: the soulful hymns of the Zion Church, the chants and rhythms of traditional healers and the brassy jive of the Merry Macs band who rehearsed opposite his home. When schooling became impossible in the fiery aftermath of the 1976 uprising, the young McCoy then playing flute studied informally under Langa greats like Madoda Gxabeka, Winston Ngozi , the Ngcukanas, Ezra and Duke, Blackie Tempi and Robert Sithole
By the early 1980s he was playing in cover bands like Fever, Touch , Airborne and Vukani, from there he moved to crossover outfit Louis and the Jive. In 1987 McCoy was spotted by bandleader Sipho Hotstix Mabuse who helped him make Joburg his home. In 1988 he joined PJ Powers band and also that year McCoy was sported by veteran producer Koloi Lebona who offered him a recording deal with a British based record company Zomba Records the same record company had produced music for, amongst others: Jonathan Butler and Billy Ocean. McCoy’s debut album, Firebird was released the following year.
Stan Bodibe started with Metro FM in 1988 as the station’s first music compiler and moved on to be a producer and presenter on various shows. He visited Denmark for the first time in 1996 during the Images of Africa Arts and Culture festival where fifteen of them from were invited from our respective countries in Africa, himself representing South Africa. Three months after the Festival he explored the music and arts industry, including co-presenting jazz shows with Mesh Mapetla, and also hosted jazz shows in Copenhagen. It was during this time in Copenhagen that he met and struck up a friendship with Andy Narell, one of the most popular steelpan players in the world, at a Copenhagen jazz club.
Stan was invited to the Copenhagen Jazz festival for next three consecutive years. During the festival he would be invited to other music shows such as Roskilde festival, one of the biggest rock-pop festivals in Europe. It was around this time that he made friends with Baobab, a choral music choir that specializes in singing South African songs including our jazz standards. The choir has been visiting South Africa almost every year ever since. The founder member, Rikke Forcchammer, with whom Stan is a friend, is incidentally a member of the Mandela Fountain in Denmark.
After Metro FM, Stan trained radio presenters of community radio stations in the country. Every now and again he would be invited to present South African jazz on Copenhagen Community Jazz radio. Until four years ago he produced and presented a jazz show on SAFM. Stan currently distributes music for Sundance, the biggest Danish jazz label in Europe. He is also a part time artist manager for developmental bands. He recently, became a managing agent for Sibusiso Vilane, the only black African in the world to have conquered the seven highest mountains in all seven continents of the world, including Mount Everest..
Carlo Mombeli - Johanesburg-based composer and bassist Mombelli has recorded and performed at many international festivals, including the Rome Villa Celimontana Jazz Festival, the Stockholm Jazz Festival, the German Moers and the ‘Leipziger Jazztage’ festivals, Banlieues Bleues festival in Paris, the ‘On the edge of Wrong’ festival in Norway, with amongst others, Mick Goodrick, Charlie Mariano, Jeroen van Vliet, Malcolm Braff and Samuel Bläser. He has recorded on Enja Records with Egberto Gismonti as well as with Lee Konitz, and has contributed music and played on the 1989 tribute for Jaco Pastorius, ‘Basstorius’, that also features the bassists Mathew Garrison and Carles Benavent. He worked for two years with the Paris-based company Lutherie Urbaine on community projects building instruments out of recycled material, and back home in South Africa he can be heard as a bassist on many recordings with amongst others, Marcus Wyatt, Simphiwe Dana, Sibongile Khumalo and Miriam Makeba. As a producer he worked on the Shane Cooper album ‘Oscillations’ that won the jazz album of the year at the 2014 SAMA awards.
Besides several ballets that have been choreographed to his music, and his many composition commissions that include commissions for the ‘Stockholm Saxophone Quartet’ and his recent 2013 piece for the Grammy award-winning New York String Quartet ‘Ethel’, he has been nominated three times for a SAMA (South African Music Awards) for his recordings. He currently teaches at Wits University, Johannesburg, where he received his doctorate in composition in 2009. His latest album “Stories” has received critical acclaim locally and internationally.
Concord Nkabinde - Bassist Concord Nkabinde, a recipient of the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Jazz in 2006, began his pursuit of music as a kid in his hometown of Soweto. Later he completed his Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies at the University of Natal and worked as a full-time music teacher. He has worked with and performed with some highly respected musicians such as Miriam Makeba, Johnny Clegg, Abdullah Ibrahim, Zim Ngqawana, Darius Brubeck, Ray Phiri, Ernie Smith, Andy Narell, Vusi Mahlasela, Magnus Lindgren, Sibongile Khumalo, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Joyous Celebration, Nana Mngomezulu and many more. He travels extensively around the country South Africa and Europe, is a highly respected and sought-after musician as a bass guitarist, musical director, composer and arranger. His own record label, Drocnoc Music has released 2 CDs and a live DVD which received a South African Music Award nomination in 2012. Concord sits on the Boards of the Performers Organization of South Africa (POSA) as well as the Composers Association of South Africa (CASA).
Steve Dyer - Pietermaritzburg-born Steve Dyer completed his music degree at the University of Durban (now UKZN) in 1981. Refusing military conscription, he then left South Africa and stayed in Botswana, the U.K. and Zimbabwe. In 1993 Steve returned to study at Durban Music department and then relocated to Gauteng where he now resides. At the core is the sonic reflection of Steve’s journey through his homeland South Africa, and the influences both personal and otherwise that are shaping this journey. Whatever the setting, Steve’s intention remains the same: to give a contemporary African voice to improvised and structured music. He has released six albums to date.