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OppiKoppi highlights with Creative Feel: PART 3

Moonga K

Moonga K. (Saturday 7 October, 12:00-13:00 @ SKELLUM)

Zambian-born, Johannesburg-based MOONGA K. is accompanied by an ageless soul and a fresh, international perspective. His crystal vocals cut through an industry of complacency with soft, striking introspection, atop authentic instrumentation and minimal production. FREE is the aptly-titled, uncapped liberation of MOONGA K. in the form of his debut EP, marrying the smooth musings of traditional and modern R&B with a jazzy, electronic outline – an alternative and wholly unique offering that announces his effervescent presence with pure soul. With FREE as a first for the 20-year-old artiste, MOONGA K. is set for marvelous heights.

Stephane Marais

Stephane Marais (Saturday 7 October, 12:30-13:30 @ TOP BAR)

Stephane Marais is a 20 year old aspiring musician who fell in love with music at the age of three. Currently he is taking on his music career with full force and would like to make a name out there for himself by sharing his music with the world.

BeatBox Campus

BeatBox Campus (Saturday 7 October, 14:00-15:00 @ SKELLUM)

Hailed for their “Funkiversity”, BeatBox Campus is a 7-piece band who tell their combined stories through the medium of jazzy hip-hop.

With each coming from a different corner of the world, ranging from KZN, Lesotho and Italy, this youthful outfit came together through a mutual respect for music when all their paths lead them to Pretoria.

Refreshingly funky and undoubtedly skilled, BeatBox Campus make for a fun and moving live music experience of rap, horns, drums & more.

Deon Bakkes and the Stolen Horses

Deon Bakkes and the Stolen Horses (Saturday 7 October, 14:00-15:00 @ TOP BAR)

A German idiom for romance, and the traditional gypsy lifestyle which relied upon the service of magnificent steeds – sometimes indeed stolen.

The Stolen Horses began in early 2016 when Deon Bakkes brought his love of Django Reinhardt-style Gypsy Jazz and improvisational music into his own personal musical conception. The horses recorded their debut album in late 2016 entitled “Neither Here nor There” featuring a mix of original songs such as “Stealing Horses” and “The Reaper’s Got Kids To Feed Too’ as well as a number of re-invigorated and fired up jazz standards such as “It Don’t Mean A Thing” and “Minor Swing”.

The band has played numerous live shows around Pretoria and Johannesburg with two notable appearances at the Mexican Tequila Festival and are looking forward to playing at OppiKoppi 2017. Deon Bakkes and the Stolen Horses bring a new light to Gypsy Jazz that incorporates the classic blend of European gypsy melody and 1930’s swing, with a modern attitude rooted in Hard Bop Jazz, Punk and Rock ‘n Roll.

Sleepers Reign

Sleepers’ Reign (Saturday 7 October, 15:00-16:00 @ MAIN STAGE)

Sleepers’ Reign, childhood friends hailing from the idyllic Belgian countryside, have been setting the European tour circuit ablaze as of late, supporting Manic Street Preachers, Daniel Johnston, Kashmir, How To Dress Well and John Parish

Known for crafting soulful alt-ronica beats with soaring vocal harmonies that seem to promote a cessation of time and thought, this five-piece is making a strong introduction to the scene with King Into Delight, their full-length debut, produced by Justin Gerrish (Vampire Weekend, Strokes, Weezer).

Adelle Nqeto

Adelle Nqeto (Saturday 7 October, 15:30-16:30 @ TOP BAR)

“South African born and bred singer/songwriter, Adelle‘s journey into the music scene began by accident in 2012 as co-founder of the duo Flint, meet Spark. Alongside bandmate Josh Pretorius, the duo was seen playing at various South African festivals and venues and enjoyed local success as an acoustic, folk partnership between 2012-2014, which included a trip to Zambia with Greenpop on their Festival of Action in 2013.

“With a continuously growing collection of songs, in 2015, Adelle decided to take a leap of faith by embarking on a solo career, taking her set of catchy, hopeful songs to South African festivals and venues. In October 2016, she released her debut single, Make Something Beautiful – a pop-infused melancholic tune about continued hope in-spite the somewhat dire state of the human condition. “As a past-time, Adelle dabbles in the art of people-watching, daydreams about time travel (and also regular travel,) and eats ice cream.”

Albert Frost

Albert Frost (Saturday 7 October, 16:00-17:00 @ JAMES PHILLIPS)

For the past two decades, the energetic performances of this accomplished guitarist have dazzled audiences as he deftly alternates between rhythm and lead, while showcasing acoustic and electric guitars. His first love is blues, stemming from the influence of his long relationship with the Blues Broers with whom he has performed since 1994.

He has recorded with Arno Carstens, Koos Kombuis, Chris Chameleon, Blues Broers and many others. He has performed with every major artist in South Africa, and with international artists like Ali Farka Touré and Finley Quaye. He has toured with Simple Minds and R.E.M, and supported the Rolling Stones.

In 2015 Frost’s impressive 21-year stint with the Blues Broers came to an end, having toured and recorded five albums with them. Now he is looking forward to some exciting new collaborations. In the near future, music fans can look forward to Frost touring with Loki Rothman as well as more shows from Blood Brothers, an interesting project bringing together some of the best from the South African rock fraternity such as Frost, Arno Carstens, Francois van Coke, George van der Spuy (Taxi Violence) and Kobus de Kock Jnr (Black Cat Bones).

April 2016 saw the release of his much anticipated third solo album, The Wake Up, which, according to Frost, signals the “start of a new journey” for him. In a departure from Frost’s blues roots, The Wake Up explores various musical avenues and lyrical content to create something he says will surprise and excite his fans.

Grassy Spark

Grassy Spark (Saturday 7 October, 17:00-18:00 @ MAIN STAGE)

Grassy Spark is a unique fusion of Ska-blend with multiple genres, where the end product is pure elation. Their beauty lies in the relevance and authenticity of each live show as they go out their way to appease and connect with their crowd.

The “Blend” is inclusive of each member’s personality – the quirks, the ups, the downs – as well as being grateful for and learning from one another.

Having played all the major festivals in South Africa to-date, their highlight was winning the Vodacom ‘In The City’ competition, which had them opening for the likes of The Kooks, Milky Chance and The Cat Empire. Being chosen as musical ambassadors for Greenpop’s Trees for Zambia initiative was their turning point mid-2014, both personally and professionally. The experience made them as grateful as one can be for the privileged lives we lead and they returned to South Africa refreshed and with a renewed outlook on their musical journey.

This growth has manifested itself in their new recordings and it shows. Whereas their first EP was entirely self-produced and distributed, on their upcoming album they’ve collaborated with external producers to lend an overtly collaborative feel to the end product.

You don’t simply dance or move to Grassy Spark, you feel their groove at your core.

Just Robyn

Just Robyn (Saturday 7 October, 17:00-18:00 @ BRUILOF)

Robyn Brophy has emerged as South Africa’s latest local music sensation.

The entertainer’s debut single, ‘Moon Child’ (released in November 2016), introduced her talent to the South African music industry and solidified her identity as Mzansi’s, Just Robyn. The artist’s vocal talent coupled with her national success as a professional dancer, has forged Just Robyn into the ultimate on-stage performer. Just Robyn has roots in Eldorado Park, where she spent 2 years of her childhood, before relocating to Florida. Before the launch of her music career, Just Robyn performed as a professional dancer. The entertainer placed third in South Africa’s So You Think You Can Dance competition in 2013. Her talents in the entertainment industry also extend to modelling and acting, which saw her feature in the SABC 3, Afrikaans drama, Roer Jou Voete in 2015. “Truth be told, music has always been my first love, but I’ve always been an introvert and not been able to express myself through my voice. So the best way for me to express myself with music was dance,” said Just Robyn.


Van Der Want and Letcher

Van Der Want and Letcher (Saturday 7 October, 17:00-18:00 @ TOP BAR)

Matthew van der Want and Chris Letcher found each other in the dark recesses of Shifty Studio in the late nineties. Chris having contributed a batch of beautiful songs to the two albums by Urban Creep, one of Durban’s finest exports, Matthew having done a solo album at around the same time.

Matthew wears his heart on his sleeve – you can literally trace his path in life across the two albums (three including his first solo album), from harsh songs of complacency and chemical imbalance to a begrudging resignation to home life. Chris remains cryptic, choosing to write around something than write straight at it, revealing his inner turmoil through a labyrinth of prose. Many reviewers have placed these two amongst South Africa’s best singer/songwriters.

“Van der Want and Letcher combine on a complex work that could well be the local album of the year…a multifaceted work full of surprises, an amalgam of folk, rock and hip-hop with something of the attitude of punk.” Shaun de Waal, Mail and Guardian.

The Brother Moves On

The Brother Moves On (Saturday 7 October, 18:00-19:00 @ JAMES PHILLIPS)

The Brother Moves On [abbreviated as TBMO] is a South African performance art ensemble from Johannesburg, Gauteng. The group was founded somewhere between the years 2008 and 2010 by broad-based artist Nkululeko Mthembu and his brother Siyabonga Mthembu. TBMO began as a self-proclaimed art movement mainly of graphic and fine artists and since began incorporating instrumentalists for the live performance environment.

In its current configuration, The Brother Moves On performs mainly as a band. Members include Siyabonga Mthembu aka Mr.Gold (storyteller, lead vocalist, performance artist), their first cousin on their father’s side Zelizwe Mthembu aka Makongela (vocalist, guitarist, flautist), Ayanda Zalekile (vocalist, bassist, multi-instrumentalist), Simphiwe Tshabalala (vocalist, drummer) and Molefi Kgware(saxophone). The band feature a variety of instrumentalists from bands in the Johannesburg live music scene namely Itai Hakim from poetry duo Children of the Wind, Malcolm Jiyane from the Malcolm Jiyane trio and Solethu Madasa from the Solethu Madasa quintet.

Carlo Mombelli

Carlo Mombelli (Saturday 7 October, 18:30-19:30 @ TOP BAR)

Carlo Mombelli is a South African jazz bass guitarist, composer, bandleader and music teacher. In 2008 he was nominated for a SAMA (South African Music Awards).

Mombelli first studied classical piano before moving to bass at the age of 16. On this instrument he is self-taught. He has been a professional musician since the 1980s with the South African musicians Johnny Fourie and Duke Makasi in the formation Abstractions. In 1987 he left South Africa; from Germany he worked with the Velvet Blues Orchestra, Barbara Dennerlein, Mick Goodrick, Charlie Mariano, Peter O’Mara, Igor Flach, Erhard Dietl, Martin Kälberer, Sabina Sciubba and Wolfgang Haffner. From 1995 to 2000 he was a member of the Brazilian fusion -Band Raiz de Pedra, where he also co-operated with Egberto Gismonti ( Diario de Bordo, 1995). In the late 1990s, he played with Thomas Zollers Ensemble Zollsound as a quartet with Bill Elgart and Lee Konitz and then in the chamber ensemble of the same name ( Songs Closer to Silence, 2002). His first album Bats in the Belfry took Mombelli 1996 with Adrian Mears, Roberto di Gioia and Wolfgang Haffner at the Bavarian Radioon. In 1999, he returned to his native South Africa, where he worked with Marcus Wyatt, Tlale Makhena, Sibongile Khumalo, Johnny Fourie and Miriam Makeba.

Sonik Citizen

Sonik Citizen (Saturday 7 October, 20:00-21:00 @ TOP BAR)

Sonik Citizen is a lyrical soul-rock trio fresh on the music scene, formed by multi-award-winning artist, Mark Fransman. At its core, Sonik Citizen is a ‘song’ inspired entity, composing and performing songs of lyric, melody and poignancy on a variety of subjects appealing to wide range of audiences. Holding down the groove is bass player, Gino Ackerman, and celebrated drummer, Paul Tizzard, completes the trio as the anchor with Fransman leading from the front with his unique soul-inspired voice and musicianship.

2017 is already set to be a successful year for the band. Their upcoming shows include a range of prestigious music festivals, such as The Concerts in the Park, The Cape Town Folk ‘n Acoustic Music Festival (Kirstenbosch), The Cape Town International Jazz Festival, and Lush Festival (Clarens), as well as a Concerts SA endorsed national tour around SA in April. Their strong live performance and blues-soul sound is a great addition to any festival and venue.

Rebirth of Cool

Rebirth of Cool (Saturday 7 October, 23:00-24:00 @ TOP BAR)

Birth of Cool is a compilation album by American jazz musician Miles Davis, released in 1957. Featuring unusual instrumentation and several notable musicians, the music consisted of innovative arrangements influenced by classical music techniques such as polyphony, and marked a major development in post-bebop jazz. As the title implies, these recordings are considered seminal in the history of cool jazz. Most of them were originally released in the 10-inch 78-rpm format and are all approximately three minutes long. Rebirth of Cool is a reinterpretation of this music mixed with hip-hop. It’s an interaction between our DJ’s and a young three-piece band. The sound of the band is influenced by the 60s jazz era, 90s hip hop and RnB, and the current jazz/hip-hop fusion. Rebirth of Cool is made up of pianist, Thandi Ntuli, drummer, Sphelelo Mazibuko, bassist, Benjamin Jephta, DJKenzhero, and The Muzik. The band also features brass section, H3, which consists of Linda Sikhakhane on tenor sax, Senzo Ngcobo on trombone, and Sthe Bhengu on trumpet.

For the full programme schedule click here.

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