MEMBERS: SHANNON ELLINAS
MYSTERY SESSION DRUMMER
Origin and inspiration: All the members of 1st Project were matriculants of The National School of the Arts where they all received full colours in music for a show that they choreographed. That was where they met, they originally started it as a project to earn some extra marks at music school, it slowly grew into something that South Africa had never seen.
Before they knew it they started being used for anything from clubs and festivals to corporate functions. Then they started trying odd “instruments” such as brooms, dustbins, bottles, road signs, matchboxes, cane sticks, shoes and many more into the show.
To sum it all up 1st Project is a latin, rock, dance, industrial percussion act, with a twist of odd instruments (junk) with added rhythm and theatrical humor.
1998 – 2002
Won first place in the Allenby/Sony battle of the bands
Appeared on TV shows such as eight o’clock news, Phat Joe live, Take 5, Show buzz, Big City and Ziwa-Mo on numerous occasions
Performed at many corporate for large companies as well as at numerous clubs, small private parties, fashion shows, festivals and schools
Interview on 5FM and other radio stations
A few of the events 1ST Project performed at:
– The Blues Room VIP night with Larry Amos
– The Summer Handicap at the Turffontein racetrack
– Many times for De Beers functions
– The theatre show ‘Dance spectrum 2000
– Ziwa-Mo Christmas party
– The Monte Casino Festival of Fire
– The Venue Birthday Party
– Performed for Nelson Mandela
– Performed for Mark Shuttleworth
– The 5fm Easter rock concert
– The carnival City rock concert
Magazines 1st projects has featured in:
Get Out Magazine Fly Magazine
JIP JHB live
Style Magazine Received a full page article in the BEELD
1ST Project has recorded and released a CD towards the end of 2000, they were asked for their footage to represent South Africa in Arts and Culture at the 2002 World Summit.
Andre Schwartz’s first television appearance was as a singer at the age of 14. To date he has released nine solo albums, with a diversity of styles from two Highveld Pops to an international Latino album. Three of his albums have sold Gold. Andre has given concerts and performances nation-wide. He has played the lead role in several stage productions including Jesus Christ Superstar and Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. He is also a cabaret artist and has won the Beeld’s Top Ten Production List for cabaret.
Andre appeared in the television soap opera Egoli as himself and has had numerous appearances on South African music programmes on TV. He is the presenter of his own cooking show on M-Net called Make a Meal of it
THE AQUARIAN QUARTET
While touring their new guitar group around South Africa during 2000, The Aquarian Quartet (so-named for their shared astrological sign) found themselves performing in The Cathedral at the annual Grahamstown Festival. Six of those performances were recorded and later slimmed down and selected for inclusion on their debut album. Steve Newman, Tony Cox, Greg Georgiades and Syd Kitchen make up The Aquarian Quartet.
Steve, Tony and Syd had been appearing for many years as The Flying Sombreros, and Tony and Steve had released a number of collaborative LPs. This intermingled with Steve’s central role in Tananas, where he played guitar alongside drummer Ian Herman and bassist Gito Baloi. Tony Cox has released three excellent acoustic guitar albums over the past few years – Cool Friction, Looking for Zim, and 1999’s acclaimed Matabele Ants.
Poet and guitarist Syd Kitchen began with the Kitchen Brothers in the ’70s before exploring the jazz/rock movement of the ’80s. He formed Syd the successful Syd Kitchen and the Utensils band before working with Tony Cox and Steve Newman in the Flying Sombreros. Syd has performed extensively nationwide, both solo and with various combos, at all the major festivals.
Greg Georgiades has been playing guitars and various other instruments since his schooldays. He also plays the oud and bouzouki and has written albums for and appeared with The Jazzhounds, Mutant Harmony Trio, and more recently with Ashish Joshi on the Strings ‘N Skins album.
AVZAL ISMAIL & THE LATIN FIRE BAND
Avzal Ismail, leader of and pianist for The Latin Fire Band has enjoyed critically acclaimed performances locally and internationally. The Latin Fire Band is all about Latin jazz and salsa and is the only authentic Latin jazz band to emerge from South Africa, which emulates the style of great Cuban bands. This six-piece band consists of some of the country’s finest musicians. Neill Ettridge is the drummer, Dennis Lalouette the bassist, Mauritz Lotz the lead guitarist, Brendan Ross is on saxophone and Buks Botma on trumpet.
The Latin Fire Band perform a mixture of original material and classic Latin standards in the Cuban and Brazilian tradition. This band is a must for your next functions if you want to do the cha cha, rhumba, bolero or bossanova. Hot, passionate, exciting and full of Latin Fire, this band creates a sensation wherever they appear.
Beeskraal is an original Rock ‘n Roll band from Pretoria. Since they formed in 1998 the four musicians have become one of South Africa’s top Rock acts. Their unique sound is a fusion of American Rock with traditional South African banjo and concertina. They draw on their influences of Kwaito and African reggae to create both a diverse and unique sound.
Loved by South African audiences, Beeskraal have performed at most major music festivals and big events throughout South Africa. They have a number of television, radio, newspaper and magazine coverage and in 2001 won a Kanna Award for Best Light Music Production and a Geraas Music Award for Best Group. In 2002 they were nominated for a South African Music Award for Best Rock Album.
Beeskraal has become the face of Afrikaans Rock music. They have released an EP and a full-length album, both of which were well received. Beeskraal is planning a tour to the Netherlands, Belgium and Australia.
Danie Niehaus is one of South Africa’s best-kept secrets. His voice has an incredible range and his first love is as a cabaret singer. Danie writes all his own songs and after criss-crossing the country with his many tours and performances, Danie returned to his home of Melkbosstrand to work on the album, Dagboek. Some of his most well-known songs are Sweef Soos ‘n Arend, Jy Is Vrou and Dis Wind, Dis Reen, Dis water.
Danie’s achievements are many and varied. He was the backing artist for Bonnie Tyler during her 1993 South African tour, he is a supporter and role model for several local charities including the Heart Foundation of South Africa and Child Welfare, for whose benefit he rode a bicycle from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth in May 1995 to raise funds. His CD GrootsteTreffers was released in 1992, followed by Kleure at the end of 1993.
David Kramer is one of South Africa’s most recognised and successful songwriters and performers. He started out as a writer of satirical protest songs. Most of his work was banned from the air by the SABC and his famous stage persona is of the rural everyman who travels the dusty roads of small town South Africa with an old bicycle and a cheap guitar.
David has a vast audience appeal and in the last 10 years has focused mainly on theatre. In 1990 he and Renaye Kramer became partners in The Dock Road Theatre, an entertainment complex housed in an historic building on Cape Town’s Waterfront development. Ninety percent of the work staged during the six years of Dock Road Theatre’s existence was original South African writing, pursued without any state subsidies or grants. His successful musical Kat and The Kings toured locally and played to audiences as far afield as New York.
David recently released a CD, Classic Kramer and another called Alles Vannie Beste. He has just completed a screenplay for a film version of Poison and his latest show Karoo Kitaar Blues was a sell-out, almost every performance received a standing ovation.
He is referred to as “the singing Tarzan” and the boertjie who revived Afrikaans hits with his own Zulu lyrics and arrangements. His CD releases Mercy and Op Aanvraag both topped the charts for many months. Op Aanvraag has sold over 80 000 copies to date.
Dozi’s hits Ou Ryperd and Tussen Jou en My are popular with audiences who often join him in song at his many countrywide performances. Dozi’s latest release Storm op die Horison has already reached gold status with sales of 25 000 and the hits Squeeze My, Tussen Die Lyne and Bietjie Brood amongst others have resulted in his becoming one of the most popular artists in the country. The two metre Boere-Zulu is here to stay
Eden is South Africa’s answer to the boy-band pop phenomena that has taken the music world by storm. But there is one difference – Eden also sings in Afrikaans! The band have exquisite voices, harmonies, youthful great looks, brilliant dance moves and great songs. They are aimed at the teenage market but appeal to anybody who is young at heart.
Eden consists of Sean, Cornel, Johan and Paulo. Sean is an accomplished actor, Cornel is a sports physiotherapist, Johan is a composer and Paulo an experienced sound engineer. All four compose Eden’s songs, two of which can be heard on their debut CD In.
Eden’s debut CD, In, was released in September 2000 as a limited edition to test the local market. Due to their growing success, Eden have signed a deal with EMI South Africa. Their extensive media coverage includes having appeared on the television programmes Geraas, Pasella, Kwela, The Felicia Show, Stralerjakkers, DKNK, Splash, Smelt and Tube TV; on Radio 702, Jakaranda, Rippel, RSG and in various local newspapers and magazines.
Singer, songwriter, pianist and motivational speaker Ed Jordan, is known as the king of South African love ballads, to which end he has been flown to perform at weddings all over South Africa. His album Crazy was his first full-length studio album in three years. It was nominated for a South African Music Award in the category Best Adult Contemporary English. His last South African Music award winning album, Hear Me Howling was released in 1997 and catapulted Ed into the spotlight as a love ballad specialist. Crazy incorporates everything from love ballads, to straight-ahead pop textured tunes and even some dance beats. It features a song penned by Ed and Lionel Bastos with rapping by George Langane of the Rasta Rebels.
Ed’s band comprises of Johan Laas, musical director/keyboards, Denis Lalouette, bass, Mauritz Lotz, guitar, Kevin Kruger, drums and Candy Cohen, backing vocals. Ed performs live at corporate functions and is a popular MC for corporate golf days and other corporate events. His Unplugged Session with Ed Jordan is perfect for small corporate dinners. Ed has been involved in SAB Brand Songs, the Official Highveld Strikers Song, Motivational Anthems for the Nedcor 2001 Conference, SA Cricket 2001/2 War Cry & Anthem, Motivational Songs for the 2001/2 Springbok Rugby Squad, SABC Popstars Judge 2002.
Ed has acted on stage and screen, presented on radio and television, written a musical and shared the stage with Crowded House, Hootie & The Blowfish and Bryan Ferry. He worked with Jeremy Mansfield on his breakfast show on Radio Highveld 94.7, for which he wrote jingles and music. He joined Neil Andrews and his team on Super Saturday as musical maestro. Ed writes and produces music for recording artists, advertising agencies and various corporations. His innovative concept of team building through the power of song is proving to be a great success! Ed tailors an anthem for your company/team/launch, capturing its slogans, strategies, attitudes and goals and teaches it to your team
The Featherdoctors original songbook is honest, deep and well crafted. Their funky performances are uplifting and high-spirited. This four-piece band has released a nine-track debut album Silence, which is clear evidence that The Featherdoctors have mastered the art of creating timeless music. Their eclectic sound arises from the mix of their accomplished musicians and is a fusion of groove, funk, rap, hip-hop, jazz and Blues.
Drummer Brett Collings and bass player Doggit, lay down the beats and grooves. While up front is Mike Meiring on lead guitar, high-spirited rapping violinist Eliot Short and big voiced Kathy van Rensburg who sings the heart of the songs and plays acoustic guitar. Their live gigs are a standout entertainment experience. They have performed at the Bassline, the Radium and on at music festivals as well as having performed several times for television
Jinger Joe band
Jinger Joe band consists of 4 members
Verny Scholtz Lead guitar & vocals
Tuxx Bass guitar & vocals
Neill Ettridge Drums
Billy White Lead vocal & Rhythm guitar
Verny, Tuxx and Neill have had a long history of successes in the music industry as all three members have performed in various top South African bands over the years.
Verny performed with in bands like “Rush Hour”, “Count Ash”, “Two Princes”, “Tri Funk Era”, and mostly recently with “Just Ginger”.
Tuxx performed with the likes of “Rasta Rebels” and joined up with Verny in 1995 with “Tri Funk Era”. The two artists later went on to become original, founding members of “just Jinger”
Neil on the other hand, has worked with literally ALL the top SA artists, from “Mango Groove” to the “NSO”, covering just about every genre of music.
As with “Just Jinger”, once the band was formed the members introduced a previously unknown lead singer. The recent introduction of Billy to Jinger Joe was officially announced at the WOODSTOCK FESTIVAL on Saturday 28th September when the group perform a few of the original tracks for the first time to a live audience.
Verny formed “Jinger Joe” in mid 2002 to warm audiences with his pop and rock sounds and an aim to record an original album by mid 2003. “Jinger Joe” is currently performing at various clubs to audiences aged between 20 and 40.
Cover songs, mid to up-tempo pop and rock, range from 60’s to present, catering for pup/club as well as corporate functions and weddings.
Toto, Level 42, Gary Moore, Lenny Kravitz, Coldplay, Blink 182, Live, Red Hot Chilly peppers, Dire straits, Bush, Feeder, Collective Soul, ZZ Top, 10CC, Chris Rea, Earth Wind & Fire, Kool & The Gang and many more!
MEAN MR MUSTARD
The popular band Mean Mr Mustard’s music is a creative blend of Pop and Rock. They started out in East-London and in Johannesburg signed a four-year recording contract with Gresham Records. Their first single, Can’t Get Enough, was released in 1997 and made it to Number Two on local charts.
Mean Mr Mustard is one of South Africa’s most experienced bands consisting of musicians who have played the club and concert circuits around the country and overseas. Their album, Only When it Rains features 14 great tracks produced by the band and management and mastered in London.
The songs have been written around personal experiences and feature the stunning vocals and song writing talents of Mark Beling, who fronts the band. All the Mean Mr Mustard albums have a message and Only When it Rains is no exception, the album expresses love and understanding. Since its release, the band has had a Number One hit on the country’s leading radio station 5fm with the title track and their second and third single, Without You and She’s Crying Again reached Number Two on the 5FM top 40. The band has played at all the major festivals and concerts in South Africa. Mark is lead vocalist and guitarist, Garth is on guitar and Leon is on drums.
Karma is the creative force behind Henry Ate, one of the most promising South African bands. Karma burst onto the local scene in 1996 with Henry Ate’s debut album Slap in the Face, which was produced on a shoe-string budget in 1996. When the album came out, people started singing along to its songs and the band found themselves playing to crowds of thousands all over the country almost overnight.
Just hit number one and Hey Mister number two on the 5FM charts. The group performed at opening slots for international acts Skunk Anansie and Johnny Clegg. Their second album One Day Soon was released in late 1998 with the name change from Henry Ate to Karma which confused fans who did not think that the album was recorded with the same Henry Ate musicians. The album received a lukewarm response and audiences began to dwindle.
Now signed to EMI and with the name Henry Ate reinstated, Karma recorded her latest album, the successful 15-track Torn and Tattered. The album showcases Karma’s versatility and vocal sensitivity. Max Mikula, Brendan Ou Tim, Julian Sun, Louis Mhlanga, Angus Rose, Gary Herschelman and Kaolin Thompson all feature on Torn and Tattered.
Kreesan’s debut album was released in October 1993. It took just over a year for him to go from being an unknown singer / songwriter to a household name in South Africa. His subsequent albums have been equally as popular and all have attained number one hits on radio stations across the country.
Kreesan supported and toured with Via Con Dios, Richard Marx, Mike and the Mechanics and Ezio. His material has been used for the soundtrack of the film Ghost in the Darkness starring Michael Douglas and Val Kilmer as well as for the soundtrack to the controversial television program, The Line.
His performance at the Miss South Africa Pageant at the Sun City Superbowl was watched by millions of South Africans. In 1998 he was chosen as the supporting act for the Bee Gees on their One Night Only Concert. Kreesan appeared with Roberta Flack over five nights at Vodaworld where he performed for both Nelson Mandela and President Thabo Mbeki. He continues to receive extensive airplay on Highveld, Jakaranda and 5FM and is recognised as an outstanding singer and songwriter.
Nianell hails from the sleepy desert town of Umaruru, nestled between the urban sprawl of Windhoek and Swakopmund. Her parents played musical instruments and sang, as did she and her sister. Singing, Nianell says, is all she ever wanted to do. Her earliest influences included Abba and Barbara Streisand and her broad mindedness towards different music from other cultures fuelled her creativity and influences. After school she studied music and classical voice training through London`s Trinity College and attained a diploma in Light Music, all the time penning her own songs and demo-ing her own material.
Nianell has won several music awards including the prestigious Crescendo prize for Tone-setting. She has performed in Ireland, Belgium, Botswana and France.
She performed for Mr.Nobel, of the Peace Prize fame, in a live showcase at the international music trade fair MIDEM and a stunning concert at the International Music Festival in Riga, Latvia in 2000. Over the last two years Nianell has written and demo-ed nearly 40 songs for her debut album.
PJ Powers is one of SA¹s most celebrated musical sensations, known to her fans as Thandeka (the loved one), her musical career has earned her numerous awards and much international recognition. PJ’s new album, Talk To Me, is a combination of R&B meets Africa. Most of the songs were written by PJ and the album is sure to follow the successes of her previous four Platinum and 17 Gold Albums.
She has shared the stage with Harry Belafonte, Eric Clapton, Joan Armatrading, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Hugh Masekela, Divine Divas, Lord Richard Attenborough, Richard E. Grant, Sibongile Khumalo, Janet Suzman and other big names. PJ sang for the King and Queen of Spain, for Queen Beatrix of Holland and Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain, all in Royal Command performances. She sang at the inauguration of President Nelson Mandela and at the 1995 Rugby World Cup. PJ collaborated with Vicky Sampson, Yvonne Chaka Chaka and M’du Masilela for the music video flighted at the United Nation¹s Assembly in Washington DC and in Greece.
In 1987, Nelson Mandela wrote a letter to PJ from the Victor Verster Prison congratulating her on the encouragement she has given to young black people. In 2000 he presented her with a commemorative limited edition gold coin. PJ has been extensively involved with the Reach For a Dream Foundation, as well as the Hamlet Foundation, and her involvement with the President¹s Children¹s Day concert included a performance on 4 November at Zoo Lake to a crowd of 50 000. She was commissioned by the President’s office to write and perform a song for the Children’s Rights Commission.
This all-girl band comprises of four talented, energetic and beautiful women who are dancing and singing their way up in the South African music industry. Shine4 producer, arranger and composer Didi Kriel has many years experience in the South African music, television and recording industry.
Shine4 was introduced to the media in June 2001 just before their trip to London as part of the line-up at the UK Kasie Festival at Wembley. They secured second place in the ATKV Crescendo-competition.
Keep a look-out for this group’s hot video on SABC – Jy Is Die Een- which is receiving a lot of airtime.
The five-piece cover band Sting have been together for over 10 years. They cater for audiences of all ages and their huge repertoire covers all music styles, from Bach to the Beatles. Sting’s specialty is corporate functions and gala dinners.
A sample of their diverse repertoire includes Lady in Red, Arthur’s Theme, Leaving on a Jetplane, Nikita, You Make Me Feel Brand New, My Baby Just Cares for Me, Cabaret, Hello Dolly, A place in the Sun, Just the Way you Are and The More I See You, Mustang Sally, Unchain my heart, Dressed for Success, Simply the Best, Summer of ’69, YMCA, My Heart Will Go On, Because you Love Me, Unforgettable and many more.
Sting welcome requests and also play traditional African and Afrikaans songs. Their success is due to their versatility and professionalism, which ensures their continued success working for top hotels and venues in and around Gauteng.
Formed in1998 by four friends, Tweak perform their original material whose lyrics are about life. Tweaks tell it like it is. They write from experience to create a feel good sound somewhere between Pop and punk. The group draw on all styles of music including rap, reggae Rock and grunge.
They are always looking for new ways to do things on stage and enjoy dressing up and incorporating non-musical guests and inserts into their live shows. They started out doing party gigs and now play at all the major venues in Johannesburg. Tweak has been on tour with Sugardrive, Wonderboom and Ethel My Love and have played at the major festivals Oppikoppi and Woodstock.
Tweak have recorded two EP’s, released a full-length album The Romantic Lure of Possum Worship, their debut single, The long Road reached number three on the 5fm Modern Rock Chart. They were selected to appear on the 5 FM Unearthed Compilation, their single Friends hit number one on the Modern Rock Chart on 5FM and to date they have over 40 songs copyrighted. Tweak is Chris ‘Destroyer’ Brink on bass guitar, Mike Stott on lead guitar, Garth Barnes on lead vocals and rhythm guitar and Paul Mathis on drums.
While completing her training as a pre-primary schoolteacher, Wendy Oldfield exploded onto the music industry in 1982 as the lead vocalist of Sweatband. She worked with Sweatband for six years performing and touring around South Africa. They released two albums and had Number One hits with This Boy Tonight, Tonight and Shape of her Body.
In 1988 Wendy released her first solo single, Living in the Real World, which went straight to Number One on 5FM and Capital Radio. In 1992 she won the Octave Music Award for Best Vocalist of the Year and released her first solo album Beautiful World. The album enjoyed three radio hits on National stations including her Number One smash hit Acid Rain, which was subsequently released in Germany. In 1996 Wendy released the album, Ruby, which showcased her interest in World Pop music. The album combines sax, didjeridoo, djembe and chanting over a solid rock rhythm section.
In 1997 she released the six-track EP Duwayo, The single Duwayo was nominated Song of the Year at the 1998 FNB Music Awards. In 1999 Wendy released On a Pale Blue Dot in conjunction with a nation-wide tour as support act to Simply Red. Special events and corporate clients include the Dunhill Symphony of Fire, Coca- Cola, SAB, Martell, the Canadian Embassy, the Democratic Party, ABSA, MTN, a support act to Wet Wet Wet at the Sun City Superbowl in 1996 and many more. Wendy has had extensive publicity and exposure on radio, television and in print. She has appeared on magazine covers including for Talk Magazine, The Sunday Times, Top 40 Magazine, Living Africa, Student Life and Fair Lady.
With her wide vocal range, Wess-Lee got her break and training working as a session singer on over 40 albums. Her songs have been play-listed on more than 35 radio stations and she has had five successive top 20 radio hits in 18 months. The songs Like a Holiday, What the Hell Did we Do, These Sparks Will Fly, Killer and Race for Love, have all made her the most successful pop artist in South Africa at the moment.
Wess-Lee features on three major compilation albums, WWM Vol. 24, Ultimate Woman, with various international artists as well as SA Top 40 Hits of all Time.
Her songs and music videos are played on SAA’s international flights. She is billed to be the opening act for Ronan Keating in August 2002. She has appeared in a variety of magazines including, People magazine, You, GQ and FHM. Wess-Lee has appeared on numerous television channels and programmes, M-Net’s Sound Check, Smelt, Crazre-E, Channel O, Yo-TV, Simunye Grooves, Ziwamo, The Casper Rasper Show, Top Billing and Geraas to mention a few. Her sound and feel is often compared to Alanis Morisette.
In 1997, a fusion of The Electric Petals and the Eight Legged Groove Machine created the band Wonderboom. Two days later they appeared live on Dali Thambo’s People of the South show and a week later they toured with Simple Minds as their opening act. This popular five-piece band has Cito as the lead singer, Danny de Wet on drums, Martin Schofield on lead guitar and Wade Williams on bass.
Wonderboom have toured and played at campus gigs and raves and have headlined all the major South African music festivals. In 2000, they appeared with The Mission at the Rand Easter Show and were the opening act for Live on their nation-wide tour. In 2001 Wonderboom appeared unplugged on the Steve Hofmeyer TV show.
The 1998 release of their album Is It, yielded two top 10 singles, She Cries and Jafta Rebel. In April 2001, their album Never Ever Ever was nominated in the Best Rock Album category for a South African Music Award and they performed at the Awards ceremony that same year. Wonderboom have signed up with David Gresham Records and released the CD single Something Wrong which reached number two on Radio 5FM.
The four-piece rock outfit Zen Arcade formed in December 1999 and in June 2001 launched their debut album Snowflake, already onto its second pressing, and nominated for a South African Music Award for Best Rock Album in 2002. Their debut single Crazy Over You received daily airplay and rocketed up national and campus charts, it reached number one on the 5fm/Coca-Cola Top 40, a rare distinction for a South African band and was the only locally produced single to be included on the year-end compilation The Hits 2001.
Zen Arcade has been a top feature at major South African festivals and concerts. They performed at the 2001 5fm/Edgars Birthday Bash, the 2002 5fm Easter Rock Festival and were invited by The Springbok Nude Girls to support them on the SNG Fat Lady Sings Farewell Tour.
Zen Arcade have featured on numerous radio interviews, two live broadcasts on 5fm as well as on breakfast TV. Their self-produced video for Crazy Over You was aired on Geraas on SABC2 and on Smelt (KykNet), a full-length 40-minute “unplugged” show was broadcast twice on Draadloos (DStv). The band has been fully self-sponsored and self-promoted.
IN MEMORY OF BRENDA FASSIE
In December 2001, a three-page spread of Brenda appeared in Time magazine with the headline, The Madonna of the Townships. The article focused on her recent trip to America, her extraordinary talent and attention grabbing antics. She is undoubtedly the most popular performer in the land with one of the best voices in Africa and has fittingly been dubbed “The girl with the golden voice”. Brenda regularly performs throughout Africa where she has a better reception than even Nelson Mandela and Michael Jackson put together.
When she was 16, the legendary producer Koloi Lebona went to Langa Township in Cape Town to hear her sing. He brought her back to Johannesburg and shortly after arriving she joined the band Joy as a stand in singer for a member. Soon after Brenda quite her schooling and took up an offer to join Blondie and Papa as a solo artist on their road show. The band Brenda and the Big Dudes, which catapulted her into fame, was formed. In 1983 they released Weekend Special, which became the fastest selling record of the time and entered the Billboard Hot Black singles chart in 1986. This led to their touring the USA, UK, Europe, Australia and Brazil.
In the 1980’s Brenda’s solo career exploded into superstar status. She released the hit Cool Spot and teamed up with Sello “Chicco” Twala, producer on four of her award winning albums. Now Is The Time, released in 1996, features two duets with Zairian music legend, Papa Wemba and the 1997 release Paparazzi features a duet with Bayete’s Jabu Khanyile. Memeza was released in 1998 and became South Africa’s best selling release of the year, earning Brenda several South African Music Awards and a 1999 Kora award for Best Female Artist. In 1999, Nomakanjani? was released, and in 2000, Amadlozi. The second half of 2001saw the release of Brenda’s Greatest Hits album Mina Nawe which won the South African Music Awards for Best Selling Release, an award she has received four years in a row.
In memory of CHRIS TOKALON
Well-known South African musician Chris Tokalon is both a saxophonist and flautist. He is available as a solo musician or in ensembles to brighten up any special occasion and performs a variety of favourite jazz and African standards. Chris had been performing in jazz bands, musicals and theatre events since 1980. He is currently involved in the seven-piece band Kwassa Nkemba, which performs an exciting selection of African jazz originals from their CD entitled One World Music, released to wide acclaim from the music industry and public alike.
Kwassa Nkemba is the ideal party or function band. The band members dress in traditional West African outfits and perform a large variety of vibrant dance rhythms and styles, i.e. West African, South African and Samba. They are also able to play background music if required.
Chris is also a comedian who is able to skillfully imitate Madiba, Satchmo and the trumpet, perfectly and hilariously accompanied to music or as a “special guest” speaker to add humour and lightness to corporate presentations.
in memory of CHRIS TOKALON – SOUND JOURNEY
Famous South African musician Chris Tokalon offers a fun-filled and inspiring alternative to conventional corporate teambuilding events, his is a humorous and/or holistic approach to the often-overlooked aspect of corporate wellbeing.
The event starts with interactive music making (not drumming!) conducted by this skilled musician, comedian and impersonator. The music performed by delegates or staff members is simple and suitable for any level of musicianship and involves the use of plastic pipes of varying length and pitch, hand clapping, finger-snapping and voice. All of this is completely interactive and hilarious. Chris plays sax or mouth trumpet and does Satchmo impersonations with the rest of the “band”. The simple rhythms performed by the delegates create co-operation and rapport within the group and a wonderful sense of fun and unity is the end result.
The second phase, which is a ‘sound journey’, can be conducted as a separate event or in conjunction with the above. Participants close their eyes and allow themselves to be ‘massaged’ and mesmerised by a variety of soothing, harmonious sounds produced live by Chris and his team as they walk around the participants. Some of the instruments used are flute, didgeridoo, Tibetan bowl, bells and voice, along with evocations of natural sounds. These powerful and evocative sound-waves massage the body on a cellular level and are guaranteed to create revitalization, calmness and a sense of harmony, qualities necessary for enhanced interaction and productivity in groups or individuals. The uplifting and stress-relieving qualities of music and humour are known and documented worldwide – when combined they are bound to produce an unforgettable and transformational event.
ABOUT Entertainment has an exciting catalogue of high calibre polished original band artists.
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