Truth Junkies to Feature at the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music
Truth Junkies, a revolutionary jazz band, will perform live at UKZN's Centre for Jazz on 11 March at 18h00.
With their roots firmly in the eclectic combination of South African traditional forms and American jazz, the Truth Junkies explore a sound that is truly reflective of our country’s jazz. The melding of the sound of Umakhweyana bow with conventional instruments and compositions is a very exciting journey. The concept of two guitars with Umakhweyana or three guitars is another deviation from the tried and tested.
With such strong improvisers in the line-up, the music provides a platform for these voices to shine. Marius Botha studied fretless bass under Marc Duby and Joe Delew spent eight years as a “Utensil” in Syd Kitchen’s band, Syd Kitchen and The Utensils. In 2016, Marius decided to move to guitar. New compositions emerged and the need for an outlet became paramount.
He co-produced Madala Kunene’s 1959 recollections of forced removals (Back in Kitomena) and co-wrote with and produced Lu Dlamini in the same year. The Truth Junkies were an obvious choice to help him to express the noises of our city, the cries of our nation that have haunted him since his youth, calling for a rich and tasteful Durban mixed Masala. From being a leader of a 270-strong choir at Port Natal High School in Durban, ‘Music has brought me peace ever since.’ After studying Education at UKZN and through UNISA, Marius worked at Durban’s Coastal Music from 1985 to 1991 where he built his own guitars and assembled his own sound system which is still in use today. The Guitar Doctor guitar building, design and repairs business was born. Today, he runs The Headroom Studio, a popular recording and production facility in Durban.
Lu Dlamini has grown into one of South Africa’s premier artists. Her previous release Ulimilami will be a reference work in UNISA’s new course on African Composition. While she has quietly become a unique voice as Umakhweyana player, she has also honed an impressive guitar playing skill. Her beautifully unorthodox style is unique. Performing with the Truth Junkies has allowed Lu to showcase her talents with strong new material.
Nick Pitman is a guitarist, producer, and music teacher with more than 10 years’ experience as a musician within the city’s vibrant performance scene. He has a sharp aptitude for blending and bending genre conventions, as is evident in his latest single Rollercoaster featuring Nosihe Zulu.
Riley Giandhari was born in Durban. He started playing drums at the age of three, mainly inspired by his father Pravin Giandhari, a professional drummer. At the age of 15, Riley started playing the drums at church and with a few gospel bands. Although he considered other fields of study, he was always drawn back to music and therefore enrolled to study Jazz at UKZN in 2013. He is also a session drummer who records and performs with various musicians and artists. Riley has performed with artists such as Hugh Masekela, Neil Gonsalves, Brian Simpson, Mike Del Ferro and Raphael Clarkson. He teaches drums at Kearsney College and gives private lessons in drums, keyboard, and music theory.
Ntobeko Shandu from Inanda north of Durban, is a talented young musician whose accompaniment skills bely his age. Popularly known as Ntobass, his bass playing reminds one of a young Sipho Gumede with a rootsy melodic sense. He has played with the likes of jazz saxophonist Mfana Mlambo, and is also a member of Lu Dlamini’s band. His session skill has graced many recorded works.
Join the Truth Junkies at the Centre for Jazz and Popular music (CJPM), Level 2, Shepstone Building on the Howard College campus on Wednesday 11 March 2020 at 18h00. Doors open at 17h30. R90 for general admission // R60 pensioners // R30 for students. Contact Thuli on 031 260 3385 or email Zamat1@ukzn.ac.za for more details.
Words: Thuli Zama