For some years, thanks in large part to the generosity of spirit and a vision to create new avenues for self-expression, are the efforts of musicians involved in this momentous project coming into fruition.
The Mill, a nine piece South African and Swiss collaboration, is the product of a vibrant exchange of musical ideas between musicians from both countries, and sees this seemingly audacious pairing as a progressive charting of new musical conversations.
Set in the backdrop of the lush savannah contrasted with Gregorian harmony, sounds reminiscent of the Baptist church and Bra Joe at the stokvel; this multifaceted collaboration between the Swiss and South African musicians is set to break new grounds in the pairing of two distinct and yet seemingly dissimilar worlds. The Mill’s debut album, When The Wind Blows: swings wherever the wind blows and is firmly rooted in the tradition of its sound.
On this current excursion, Mandla Mlangeni, the 2019 Standard Bank Young Artist For Jazz curates the band's first African inspired album "When The Wind Blows", an offering that is the result of a three-date engagement in one of Joburg’s most happening live music venues. And thus the outcome is the sonic manifestation of an artistic vision that aims to facilitate new creative expression and cultural participation through music.
The album is set to premiere at the 20th Cape Town International Jazz Festival and several other venues in and around Southern Africa; making this a great platform to showcase new and original material by established practitioners of the jazz idiom. All performances have been specially curated towards raising the profile of this unique collaboration and also create a direct link towards the creation and performance of new and exciting work.
Through a series of concerts, spread over the course of ten days, The Mill will begin their tour at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, The Chairman in Durban, The Culinary Club, Just Badela, Centre Culturo Franco Mozambique, Maputo and The Mbabane Theatre Club, eSwatini. Each performance will cater for the communities and audiences within their scope. Each artist in the program will have an opportunity to present works in various forms. There will be of course variations in presenting the program, as there will be a mixture of solo, full ensemble and experimental works.
“This can be an amazing opportunity for us: to perform for our peers, see what other artists are doing, and be part of an event that takes us beyond our comfort zones as performing musicians and composers. By bringing the best of what the unique collaboration has to offer, this project will both help strengthen our reputation and provide us with an unparalleled experience” notes Mandla Mlangeni, co-founder of the ensemble.
Ticket prices for each show vary and bookings can be made by contacting the venues.
The Mill's “When The Wind Blows” Album Launch Tour is generously supported Pro Helvetia Johannesburg: which has for some time been investing in transnational collaborations, exchanges and joint projects among organisations and creative practitioners. With support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). Their investments are focused on projects, networks and platforms that have a shared interest in building a stronger regional creative fabric.
Fri 29 March 2019 CTIJF, Cape Town International Convention Centre, Computicket
Sat 30 March 2019, 23:00, R150, The Chairman, 146 Mahatma Gandhi Rd, Durban 079 753 6313
Sun 31 March 2019, 15:00, R450 (CD included), SA CulinaryClub, Hobart Square, Bryanston 082 818 2338
Mon 01 April 2019, 20:00, R200, Just Badela, Matipa St, Orlando West, Soweto 083 425 6283
Fri 05 April 2019 20:30, MT500 CCFM, Avenida Samora Machel, Maputo, Mozambique, +258 21314590
Sat 06 April 2019, 19:00, E150, The Jazz Gallery, Theatre Club, Mbabane,+268 2404 1068
Mandla Mlangeni trumpet
Siya Makuzeni trombone v Florian Egli alto sax
Matthias Tschopp baritone sax
Fabian Willmann bass clarinet
Vuma Levin guitar
Yonela Mnana piano
Marco Muller bass
Kesivan Naidoo drums