‘From the valleys of the Limpopo river, to the canyons of the Colorado, to the crystal pools of Jamaica comes a musical story of spiritual and cultural transcendence. Grow Within is the new double album by Joel Karabo Elliott’s music of Roots Grown Deep, a cross-continental river song blending the soul of Limpopo indigenous rhythms, Jamaican roots reggae, and Native American prayer.’
The Broken Chords Creative Studio, located in Selby, Johannesburg, is proud to present the unique music of Grow Within by Joel Karabo Elliott (JKE) on Saturday 3 December 2016 at 7pm. Entrance is R120 and includes a free CD. The live musical performance will feature JKE and his South African based Roots Grown Deep ensemble including multi-instrumentalist Stompie Selibe, soul singer Naftali, actress-vocalist Nkoto Malebye, poet-drummer Dennias Mashegwane, jazz singer Nono Nkoane, vocalist Neahtyah Baht Ammi, bassist Ntando Mbatha, guitarist Nelius Nortje, and also featuring award-winning poet Phillippa Yaa Devilliers.
The release of JKE’s Grow Within double album project began in April 2016 with the presentation of the first album, entitled Grow Within And You Shall Not Go Without. The upcoming event on 3 December will be the official release of the second album, entitled The Prayers, and thus the presentation of the complete collection.
Joel Karabo was born into a diverse melting pot American family of Jamaican, Scottish, German and Hebrew heritage. In the USA he learned the technique of playing music and received the privileges of higher education, finding inspiration from the jazz and classical composers. Some years later he journeyed to South Africa where he was initiated in the villages of Limpopo, unlearning into simplicity and becoming the song within… thus the music of Roots Grown Deep was born.
A trombonist, singer, guitarist, pianist, poet, composer and producer, Joel has found a unique voice in the world of harmony by weaving multiple languages, cultures and indigenous styles into a sound that is at once classical, jazz, roots and folk—a truly ‘world music’. His love for collaboration and fusion of the rawest and most heartfelt South African voices has given birth to a mysterious and heart-warming genre, yet unnamed.
In addition to completing the launch of JKE’s Grow Within music, the event on 3 December will also be the official launch of the ‘Diaspora In Ascension’ trans-artistic concert series, to be held once every second month at Broken Chords. Live visual arts will accompany the music, as resident artists Stompie Selibe, Vusi Mfupi, Zolile Phetshane and Efia Maphoto spontaneously paint a canvas in response to the ebb and flow of the musical evening. This live multi-disciplinary collaboration is the essence of the ‘Diaspora In Ascension’ artistic ritual, and the resultant painting will form part of an exhibition of works at the end of 2017.
In spirit, the Grow Within musical story captures a journey from South Africa to America to the Caribbean, a personal and human search for roots, spiritual awakening and true culture. The music offers a ripe message of awakening as it flows between several epicentres of indigenous spirituality and African Diaspora. It arrives at a joyful call to the cross-continental celebration of our rich spiritual and ancestral heritage. The songs are an expansive collaboration featuring a diverse array of South African and American musical voices, most notably Msaki, Nono Nkoane, Nkoto Malebye, Black South Easter, Tumi Mogorosi and Sibusile Xaba.