The first ever ‘Ladies in Song Legacy Tour’ will see a fantastic assemblage of major women of the stage, in a massive premiere of the festival and homage to female musicians.
The festival to be launched in celebration of the iconic Dorothy Masuku and Abigail Khubeka is a one-night only affair dubbed the “Women of song, the legacy tour” and will take place at the Emnotweni Arena in Nelspruit on September 12 and will also see a culmination of the 18th anniversary of Ladies in Jazz ensemble, one of the first and few all female bands in South Africa.
Ekhaya Creatives, under the championship of Anikki Maswanganye, has put together a formidable array of artists to pay tribute to the two living legends. Maswanganye, an entrepreneur and founding member of Ladies in Jazz is the host of the first ever ‘Women in Song’ legacy tour to hit South Africa.
“This festival is more about retaining and celebrating the heritage of our music, where we see the need to celebrate our legends, especially female musicians while they are still alive. We strongly believe that in doing this, our tradition and ways of song will be passed onto the youngsters in order to help them understand the roots of our music and also keep the music industry alive. This is to say that as women for women, we need to embrace one another, create jobs for one another and appreciate each other,” says Maswanganye, director of the festival.
The featured ladies on the tour are adept instrumentalists, in addition to all being accomplished singers.
“What make this concert tour exceptional is that it brings together different generations of women ranging from ages 80 down to 28. We see this as making a historical event and as a note to the music industry, that as women, ours is to celebrate and uplift each other,” Maswanganye concludes.
Performing artists on this tour include:
Dorothy Masuku, an international icon, role model, artist, mother, composer and singer who composed many of Miriam Makeba’s well-known songs. Masuku rose to fame in the 50s; her voice evoking global applause, with her compositions catapulting many South African artists to fame. The history of the contribution of black women musicians would be incomplete without the story of Masuku.
Accompanying Masuku will be veteran stage and TV actress and singer Abigail Khubeka, who was discovered and mentored by ‘Mama Africa’ and in her own right has gone on to enjoy an outstanding international career.
Lerato Mothapo, a singer who possesses an instrument personified, timbre unmatched and a soul that calls the most internal emotions and blessed with a presence that is never mistaken nor forgotten will raise high the torch inherited from firebrand singers like Makeba & Rathebe and will be joined by rising star Solace Can who will perform a new arrangement of the Masuku penned Pata Pata which was made popular by Miriam Makeba who loudly proclaimed her support for the civil rights cause.
The concert will take place at the Emnotweni Arena on September 12th, 2015 with ticket prices set between R150 to R350 and go on sale from next week.
About the all-female ensemble Ladies in Jazz
The ensemble was formed in 1998 by Anikki Maswanganye (drums) and Thandi Mahlangu (lead vocals and percussion). Today Ladies in Jazz has grown to include Zodwa Mabena (bass), Sankie Motsei (piano), Lesego Nkonyane (saxophone) and Thope Diniso (guitar). founded on the premise of empowering and uplifting women, using music and social activism as a tool, the collective has seen the ladies as champions of the annual ‘16 Days of Activism against Women and Child Abuse campaign’, condemning sexism and the abuse of women.
Over the past few years, the popularity of Ladies in Jazz has soared to great height, both in the local and international front, making them firm favourites in the Middle East and has seen acclaimed tours in countries such as Syria, Israel, Palestine, Egypt and Jordan. They have also performed at prestigious stages such as the Joy of Jazz and Arts Alive festivals. Their talents have also seen them as headlining performers at launch of the South African government website on invitation by former President Thabo Mbeki. Their busy calendar this year later sees them play in Yaounde Cameroon, at the country’s most premiere jazz festival.
With a long track record, they have also been backed acclaimed stars like Yvonne Chaka Chaka and Wendy Oldfield and have gone to share stages with American musicians such as Joe McBride and Tamia, as well as the home grown talents of Sibongile Khumalo, Gloria Bosman, Jimmy Dludlu, Oliver Mtukudzi, Paul Hanmer, McCoy Mrubata, Jonas Gwangwa and many others to mention a few.
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