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Event Series Event Series: Jazz From South Africa

Jazz From South Africa

Wednesday, May 6, 2020 @ 12:00 am - 11:59 pm

$5 – $10

See and hear jazz from top talent in South Africa.

I look forward to sharing my music with the audience online with my trio comprised of my friends, Paul Hanmer on piano and Lex Futshane on upright bass. I wanna thank Aymeric and Urban Sessions for this opportunity that’s giving me a platform to present my new works created during this CORVID 19 lockdown. We’ll also perform songs from my last two albums.
So please join us on Saturday 23 May at 8pm to witness this new, interesting way of presenting music.
Please keep safe and healthy.
 McCoy Mrubata
Hope everyone is good, safe and healthy. This dark cloud will pass all will be good. For now I’m just bringing good vibes into your space. Stay Home, Sit Back, Relax and ENJOY!!!   #DaDeepIsGonnaGetcha

On Sunday the 24th May, bassist and composer Benjamin Jephta will perform an exclusive live-stream concert with Urban sessions premiering his ‘Electric Trio’ featuring Bokani Dyer on synth/keys and Sphelelo Mazibuko on drums. This trio will fuse elements of jazz, electronic music and hip-hop to move beyond genre. They will be exploring grooves and sounds from Jephta’s sophomore release: ‘An Evolution of an Undefined’ as well as some new music.

Bassist and composer Benjamin Jephta (26) has made a name for himself as one of
South Africa’s premier double and electric bass players. A graduate of the jazz program
at the University of Cape Town in 2013 he has performed both nationally and
internationally since the age of 14 and he has worked with notable South African jazz
musicians including Hugh Masekela, Sibongile Khumalo and many others. With two
albums as a bandleader, multiple award nominations and wins, Jephta, the Mail &
Guardian 200 Young South Africans list recipient also received the prestigious Standard
Bank Young Artist for Jazz award in 2017.

Benjamin regularly sessions with various South African hip-hop and pop artists, as well
as on TV programs including The Voice SA, Dancing with the Stars SA and musical
directs the ‘late night’ show The Bantu Hour on SABC 2. He is now based in New York
City after graduating from The Berklee Global Jazz Institute in Boston, USA, with a
Masters degree. He has since performed with Danilo Perez, Terri-lyne Carrington, Jason Palmer and Dianne Reeves among others.

Ziza Muftic is a singer-songwriter and an educator, based in Johannesburg.
Her sound is a unique fusion of Balkan Folk, Pop and many Jazz styles. Ziza is a storyteller and her tenor saxophone tone lures you in, while she takes you on a journey. She works with musicians who help her express the musical ideas best, through their own creativity. Ziza will present a carefully chosen repertoire for the Urban sessions performance. The performance aims to inspire and give hope to the audiences far and wide; as we are all learning to live with the pandemic which has consumed our lives. Ziza will be accompanied by two veteran local musicians, Concord Nkabinde on the electric bass and Roland Moses on piano.
Soulful singer, songwriter and performer Zoë Modiga released “Umdali”, the second single to her well anticipated sophomore album during the global lockdown, which has proved to be an anthem of tranquility for many in these unsettling times.
With the current disrupted reality, all art practitioners are challenged to find innovative ways of telling stories, healing and entertaining  people while still maintaining the community and utopia of being in one space.
As we make our way into the “new normal” we all find ourselves in, Zoë Modiga ushers us through her transcendent musical journey where she’s known to remind us – at the core of everything – of ourselves

Shane Cooper and MABUTA Trio – Livestream
For the first time ever, Shane Cooper will present a special trio version of his renowned band MABUTA. Joining Shane are two of South Africa’s best instrumentalists: pianist Bokani Dyer and saxophonist Sisonke Xonti.  For those familiar with the music of MABUTA, this is a chance to hear it re-imagined. For new listeners to the band, this is a great way to discover these exciting sounds that mix jazz, African music influences, and modern groove sensibilities. The three artists are part of the cutting edge wave of modern South African jazz and will be bringing absolute heat to this unique performance.


LINDA SIKHAKANE – Live in Concert

Linda Sikhakhane & Isambulo Trio serves as a sonic response to the current situation, finding revelation in light of Covid-19 through sound and silence. Sikhakhane uses the idea of a ‘trinity’ which mirrors this configuration (trio)  as a point of departure. Isambulo (revelation) Trio features sought after musicians Shane Cooper (bass) and Sphelelo Mazibuko (drums) in exploration of these sonic ideas. This collective will be presenting music from an existing archive, borrowing from Sikhakhane’s ‘Two Sides, One Mirror’, sophomore project ‘An Open Dialogue’ and some new material.


SISONKE XONTI – Live in Concert

In these Dark times away from my family and close friends my only solace is in music hoping that one day I will wake up from this terrible dream. I’ve come to learn that it is okay to be vulnerable for in this ‘State’ you learn so much more about yourself. You don’t have to be strong! You don’t have ALL the answers! You don’t have to hide!
In light of this narrative, I’ll present new and old works in their most vulnerable state to date in a rather unfamiliar set up of percussion, saxophone and piano. On this journey I will be accompanied by Yonela Mnana on Piano and Tlale Makhene on Percussion.


Amidst an unprecedented worldwide shutdown and an unpredictable future for live music as we know it, we must find ways to keep the music alive. The Bokani Dyer trio will perform a special selection of songs from the South African Songbook to fortify the spirit and remind us of our connectedness during this time.



Standard Bank Young Artists for Jazz 2019 and UWC  Centre for Humanities Fellow 2019. As a trumpeter composer, bandleader with a host of skills ranging from teaching, performing to arranging and composing in diverse styles of music. Amongst other activities, he is currently involved in composing and performing music with several projects in South Africa and abroad most notably the  Amandla Freedom Ensemble 2016 SAMA nominated Best Jazz Album. His other outfit aptly named the Tune Recreation Committee (TRC) Voices Of Our Vision received critical acclaim as the the Best Jazz Releases for 2017.  2018 and 2019 SAMA nominated Best Jazz Album.


Keenan Ahrends – Livestream

Keenan Ahrends is a jazz guitarist and composer based in Johannesburg, South Africa. He has performed with prominent musicians such as Louis Moholo, Feya Faku, Thandi Ntuli, Malcolm Braff, Andile Yenana, Carlo Mombelli, Herbie Tsoaeli, SOMI, amongst others. Notable performances have been at the Birds Eye Jazz Club (Switzerland), the Amersfoort Jazz Festival (The Netherlands), the Cape Town international Jazz Festival, Reunion Island Ocus Pocus Festival, the Joy of Jazz Festival, the Edge of Wrong festival, and the Standard Bank Youth Jazz Festival. He has also performed in venues and festivals in eSwatini (formerly Swaziland), Sweden, Norway, Mozambique and Nigeria. In 2017 Ahrends released his debut album ‘Narrative’ (featuring Romy Brauteseth, Claude Cozens, Sisonke Xonti, Nicholas Williams) to critical acclaim. Ahrends is known for his evocative musical writing, his emotive improvisation and his sensitive musicianship. He remains an important part of the emerging southern African jazz arena and his flagship sound can be heard on numerous albums and in a diverse plethora of projects.
Praise for ‘Narrative’ (2017)
“One of the most beautiful guitar releases of any recent year. […] ‘Narrative’ is the right title for an album that walks you through multiple sonic and personal meditations.” – Gwen Ansell
“Ahrends expresses emotional whirlwinds from life experiences and shakes them off in “Here We Go Again”, a careful slow ballad that builds a story in a pure, soulful way. […] Ahrends stylistically switches from grunge to subtle South African sounds as in “Past” and “Stories Behind Expressions”. This is why ‘Narrative’ is listenable and reflectively memorable.” – Carol Martin




Wednesday, May 6, 2020
12:00 am - 11:59 pm
$5 – $10


Buffalo, NY United States

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