18 July 2019 Volume :7 Issue :38

Talent “Mzukulu” Mbatha in Concert at UKZN

Talent “Mzukulu” Mbatha in Concert at UKZN
Talent “Mzukulu” Mbatha.

The Centre for Jazz and Popular Music proudly presented Talent “Mzukulu” Mbatha in concert with colleagues on 17 July.

Durban-born Mbatha is a versatile bassist, arranger, composer, producer, studio engineer and music lecturer, who derives his music style from a diverse range of influences, including Maskandi, Mbhaqanga, jazz, pop, contemporary rock, soul and fusion.

Spending a large part of his early life in northern KwaZulu-Natal, he grew up listening to musicians such as Mfaz’omnyama, Hhash’elimhlophe, Phuzekhemisi, Mfiliseni Magubane, and the Soul brothers who influenced him to approach even American standards with an African feel.

Mbatha, who began learning to play bass guitar aged 11, assembled his first jazz band in 2008 and since then has performed at events such as the Hazelmere Dam Jazz Festival, Ugu Jazz Festival, the Moratele Park festival as well as on international stages backing other artists.

His formal music education started after matric when he joined a music learnership group at the Bat Centre in Durban which helped him prepare him for study at UKZN where he obtained a Jazz Music Diploma, majoring in Music Performance and Production.

Mbatha has worked with many well-known artists including the multi-Grammy award winning Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Dr Brian Thusi, Zakes Bantwini, Mondli Ngcobo, hip hop’s Kasi Rap General Zakwe, Duncan “Skuva”Mbambo”, Bongi Dube, Ntokozo Masinga, Mondli Ngcobo, Mfiliseni Magubane, and Mdu Mahlobo.

In 2016, Mbatha worked on his own Maskandi album titled Amathanga Omkakho through Mzukulutainment and toured around KwaZulu-Natal promoting it. He is currently in studio recording his second album. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K52VVUYqyFA)

Performing in concert with Mbatha at UKZN was Shemual Mahabeer and Sanele Phakathi (piano), Mxolisi Mdlalose (saxophone), Sbu Zondi (drums), Zoe Masuku (vocals), Thabo Sikhakhane (trumpet) and Mokgethisi Nkotsi (trombone).

Words: Thulile Zama

Photograph: Supplied

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