Concert The Afro Diaspora Connection

Poster For: The Afro Diaspora Connection © Goethe-Institut

Sun, 26.05.2024

Constitution Hill, Braamfontein

The Dig(SA) and Jazz Re:Freshed present Afro Diaspora Connection on the 26th of May 2024 at Constitution Hill featuring Blue Lab Beats(UK), Camilla George(UK), Thandi Ntuli(SA), Ndabo Zulu(SA) and special guests courtesy of the Goethe Institut Seba Kaapstad(DE, SA, Swaziland).

By The Dig_ZA ABOUT 26 May 2024 Venue: Constitution Hill(Womens Jail) The Afrodiaspora Connection is a collaborative music exchange project curated by Joburg based alternative music development agency The Dig and UK based jazz and alternative music organisation Jazzre:freshed. The Project aims to establishing a cross cultural music community and exchange between South Africa and the UK and African diaspora communities.

We are happy to announce grammy award winning duo Blue lab beats as one of the UK bands headlining the Afrodiaspora connection. Blue Lab Beats are one of the fastest-rising production duos in the world, expertly and fluidly fusing jazz, hip-hop, Afrobeat, soul and electronica, whilst representing a hungry and endlessly talented generation inspired by the forebearers of jazz and the pioneers of hip-hop’s golden age, where musicality was a primary principle.

We've also invited visionary saxophonist, composer, bandleader and innovator, Camilla George. Her strong cultural roots and love of fusing African and Western Music has informed her own unique style, a key reason why she is a firm fixture on the new London Jazz scene and taking the European music scene by storm. A recipient of the Urban Music Award for Best Jazz At 2023. Her music is a hypnotising blend of Afrofuturism, hip hop and jazz, with a politically minded subtext that has a powerful connection to her Nigerian identity, lineage and heritage, reflecting African history, culture and slavery.

The Goethe-Institut is proud to present as a contribution to the Afro Diaspora Connection internationally acclaimed Seba Kaapstad a collaborative effort spanning Swaziland, South Africa, and Germany for this once in a lifetime celebration at Constitution Hill on the 26 May 2024.
Seba Kaapstad led by the renowned „Landesjazzpreis BW"winner, German bassist Sebastian Schuster, featuring the incomparable Standard Bank Young Artist for Music and South African superstar Zoe Modiga and the melodious Grammy Award winner Swati crooner Manana. The collective is focussed telling realistic, yet optimistic, stories of life, love, family and loss.
Exploring the fullness of who she is – who we are – in her personal and collaborative projects, Thandi Ntuli negotiates a wide palette of sound and genre. This approach is a proud embracing of having grown up with the family lore of a classical singer aunt, after whom she is named; an uncle (Selby Ntuli) who was a member of Afro-rock band Harari; and a grandfather (Levi Godlib Ntuli) who – while living with his young family in 1940s Sophiatown, a cultural hub not unlike 1920s Harlem in New York – fostered among his children a tradition of composing, playing and singing music together. This tradition still lives on.

Through her work over a hitherto 13-year career, Thandi has carved space for herself, and others seeking home, to fully exist – thereby firmly situating herself and the contemporary South African generation in the musical cannon. Her frank-yet-empathetic and vulnerable gaze on herself, and the world, has birthed a body of work that facilitates our access to our histories, presents and futures by creating in music literature the existence of language, experiences and space that speak to us. For young South Africans and creatives – not least of all, women – Thandi represents a home-going to ourselves, each other and our communities.

Ndabo Zulu was born and raised in Chesterville just outside of Durban in South Africa. His love for music was triggered at the age of 9.This saw him taking music lessons at The Field Band Foundation under the tutelage of Brian Clark playing steel drums and african marimbas. He later picked up a trumpet with the help of Nkosinathi Hadebe who advised him to join Siyakhula Music Centre in Umlazi Township to study with the legendary jazz trumpeter Dr. Brian Thusi. Zulu was also active as a classical trumpeter in Durban playing with the KZN Youth Wind Band which won a Global Competition For Wind Band - 2004 in Vienna, this saw the band touring China, Mauritius, Germany and Hong Kong representing South Africa. In 2009 he enrolled at the University of KwaZulu Natal to study a Diploma In Jazz/Pop Music program, while a student at UKZN, Zulu was also a trumpet tutor at the Durban Music School and Field Band Foundation.In 2011 through funding from the Fredkorpset (KF) he started an exchange programme in Norway which was a partnership between the Field Band Foundation and Norges Musikk Forbund (Norwegian Music Federation) ,through this exchange program he spent a year at a school called Toneheim Folkehøgskole in Hamar Norway which led into a decision of enrolling as a full-time at The University of Stavanger in 2012. He obtained his Bachelor ́s Degree - Jazz Performance in 2017. In 2017 he was enrolled at the Norwegian Music Academy in Olso where he completed his Master ́s Degree in 2019. In 2019 he also enrolled at the University of Stavanger for his post master’s research which graduated in May 2020. Zulu has played ,recorded and toured extensively with respected artists such as Derrick Hodge (USA), Sjava, Nduduzo Makhathini, Herbie Tsoaeli, Salim Washington(USA), Ayanda Sikade, Neil Gonsalves, Mbuso Khoza, Erlend Skomsvoll (NO), Rolf Lislevand (NO/IT), Roberto Bonati (IT), Tore Johansen (NO), Arild Anderson (NO), Bugge Wesseltoft and many more. Zulu is a multi award winning artist namely SAMRO IAM winner 2018, Jazz i Sikte (Norway) 2016 and a recent three time SAMA winner and a Mzantsi Jazz awards winner for the debut “Queen Nandi: The Africa Symphony”.