By Novell Zwangendaba
Johannesburg: A stellar music line-up like no other headlines this year’s Gauteng ‘Pale Ya Rona Carnival’ music concert. Jonas Gwangwa, Thandiswa Mazwai, Selaelo Selota and rapper Prokid are just a few of hot the South African artists making their way to Mofolo Park in Soweto, where the ‘Pale Ya Rona Carnival’ will celebrate it’s last day of festivities.
With the Carnival kicking off on the 4th June, the festival will end with a concert like no other on Sunday 6th June, 2010. Gwangwa, Mazwai, Selota and Prokid will join the eclectic sounds of the Gauteng Jazz Orchestra and the impassioned sonic grooves of Spain’s flamenco music.
Thanks to sponsorship from the Spanish Embassy, lovers of eclectic musical fusions will enjoy a collaboration between Spanish artists Raimundo Amador, Antonio Rancapino, Tomasito, di Geraldo, Benavent, Pardo, Lin Cortes and homegrown talent Tshepo Mngoma, Bheki Khoza and the Soweto Spiritual Singers as they bring a never-heard-before AFROFLAMENCO sound to Soweto. It will make for a truly memorable event.
You can’t talk about South African jazz and not mention Jonas Gwangwa, one of the most influential creative forces in this genre. Once a trombone-playing member of the 1950s Bepop band the Jazz Epistles, along with Dr Abdullah Ibrahim and Bra Hugh Masekela, Gwangwa is now considered one of South Africa’s greatest living musical icons. In the early 1970s, Gwangwa went into exile, only to return to South Africa in 1991. He composed the score for the film ‘Cry Freedom’, and performed the film’s Oscar nominated song at the 60th Annual Academy Awards in 1988. He was one of the luminaries invited to perform at the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute in Wembley Stadium and also composed the theme for South Africa’s Olympic bid in 1997.
Guitarist, singer, songwriter and producer Selaelo Selota has established himself as a force in the Afro Jazz and Afro Soul genres. He has successfully fused traditional music with contemporary styles, and continues to earn rewards for his efforts with his recent three nominations at the SAMA awards.
Thandiswa Mazwai has been hailed as the future of South African music. The former Bongo Muffin singer/songwriter has traveled the yellow brick road, unleashing a fury of nostalgic lyrics intertwined with her unmistakable powerful voice along the way. Sometimes referred to as the Miriam Makeba of the new generation, Thandiswa has travelled the world stages and won numerous awards for her work.
Rapper Prokid, the creative force that has brought Kasi life to the world, calls Soweto his home. His songs always pay homage to his Soweto roots, especially in his independently released song ‘SOWETO’, which has been a massive success. In 2007 Pro travelled to the Netherlands to record with that country’s much-loved group, Tripple & Touch, and he also got to perform at various clubs around Amsterdam
and got to share the stage with the likes of P. Diddy.
In addition to these musicians, there will also be acts from Algeria and Brazil at the annual festival. The extravagant celebrations of the ‘Pale Ya Rona Carnival’ on the 4th and 5th of June, followed by the Carnival Music Concert at Mofolo Park in Soweto, give audiences a chance to enjoy a choice selection of music for free in the company of their family and friends in a relaxing picnic style setting. This exciting family event is bound to set the tone of vibrancy that is anticipated in the wake of the biggest sporting showcase to hits Africa.
AFROFLAMENCO will also perform at Masakeng Pub, in Soweto on the 4th June 2010.