The Music of Our People – The 2022 KULTURE Blues Festival

After the successful 2021 edition of the KULTURE Blues Festival held at the South African State Theatre, the 2022 iteration moves to the Joburg Theatre with performances from Malcolm Jiyane/ Uprize Ensemble, Tumi Mogorosi & Gabi Motuba, and Luyolo Lenga. The performance will take place on March 12 from 15:00.

It will be the first time that Jiyane performs his globally acclaimed album, Umdali alongside the Uprize Ensemble which will feature talented vocalist, Nonku Phiri. Ever since inception, the Uprize Ensemble have never performed together live on stage.

“Ever since I ever worked with Nonku Phiri on the Spaza project I fell in love with her voice her work and her gift of ART instantly,” Jiyane says of their upcoming performance at the Joburg Theatre.

Both Gabi Motuba and Tumi Mogorosi have consistently exuded a particular kind of intellectual rigour, in their approach to the music of our people, that has been truly impressive to follow. Their presence, therefore, at this year’s edition of the Kulture Blues Festival promises, not only a sonic feast for the devotees who will be in attendance, but really, an artistic experience supreme. They will be rendering offerings from their sonically astute collaboration album Sanctum/Sanctorium, exploring themes around the sacredness of family and Black communion. The band will take to the stage with the talents of Bokani Dyer on piano, Daliwonga Tsangela on cello, Dalisu Ndlazi on bass, Gabi Motuba on vocals and Tumi Mogorosi on drums.

Rounding off the gifts that the festival will offer is the enigmatic Luyolo Lenga, a transcendent artist whose presently-lowkey status really defies belief. To listen to his 16-track album Sabela, released in 2020, is to encounter an artist whose deep reverence for his Xhosa culture and African spirituality is drenched in exuberance and humility. His is a fusion style of music that pays homage to the isiXhosa language, accessing ancestral sounds from ancient bow and percussion instruments. He will perform from 2019’s Siphiwo Sam and Sabela projects.

The host on the day will be renowned and highly regarded comedian, Roni Modimola.

*Tickets are R250 and are available from Webtickets/ Pick N Pay https://www.webtickets.co.za/v2/event.aspx?itemid=1512826444

About The KULTURE Blues Festival

The tradition of South African artistic practices is long and vast. Most of it remains unexplored and unengaged. One need not rearticulate how South African arts has shaped much of our lives and continue to inform our understanding of ourselves as a people. It, therefore, becomes important for us to appreciate the value of our creations as something that forms an intrinsic part of who we are. It is for these reasons and more that we believe that we ought to curate spaces that will create dialogic possibilities between our artforms and current politics. Our outputs, from below, has not only been about entertainment but through it, we have been able to articulate or experience our desires.

Spaces that enable us to do this are rare and we have a responsibility to create them, as a form of cultural preservation and resistance. The second KULTURE Blues Festival with the support of the Department of Sport, Arts & Culture can make such gatherings viable. The festival will comprise jazz and literature.

* The show is made possible by support from the Department of Sports, Arts, and Culture’s Mzansi Golden Economy Programme.

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