Booking, management and touring agency, Arte Viva Management, will be launching a brand-new roster of primarily Southern African performing artists at the upcoming International Live Music Conference (ILMC).
Image supplied: The Unity Band
The theme for ILMC 2022 is ‘Brave New World’, which seems made for the launch of this roster of exceptional talent.
The hand-picked roster has a focus on artists from Southern Africa, with genres spanning World-Fusion to SA jazz, Afro-soul and folk. Some names will certainly be familiar to international audiences, such as The One Who Sings - the new solo creative incarnation of Zolani Mahola, previously of double-platinum global Afro-pop sensation Freshlyground, Hope Masike - Zimbabwe’s ‘Princess of Mbira’ and Abavuki, known for their energetic Afro-Fusion performance with marimbas and African percussion.
Image supplied: Zolani Mahola
South African jazz is revered worldwide for its creativity and influence and the roster proudly features the cream of the new generation’s crop, including; Sibusiso Mash Mashiloane, a sublime pianist who incorporates percussive elements and vocals into his vibrant playing; Mandla Mlangeni, a trumpet player, composer and bandleader of exceptional originality and craft, recognised in 2019 as the Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year for Jazz, one of SA’s highest accolades; and Thandeka Dladla, a young and versatile vocalist who embodies the glamour and talent of the legendary jazz singers, and whose range is equally at home in the Afro-Soul genre, entrancing audiences with her ‘wonder to watch’ performances.
Two of the ensembles on offer are noticeable for their collection of talent:
The Lady Day Big Band features powerhouse vocalist Lana Crowster and the talents of no less than 20 stellar South African women musicians, under the baton of esteemed conductor Amanda Tiffin. The Unity Band, winners of Best Newcomers at the 2019 Mzansi Jazz Awards, brings together eight of the country’s truly most gifted young musicians, performing their multi-flavoured brand of inspired contemporary SA jazz.
Image supplied: Mandla Mlangeni
The roster is completed by two other standout performers, both of whom explore the fusion between their traditional cultural music styles and Western music: Mthwakazi has invented her own genre of 'Xho-pera', performing operatic vocals in her native isiXhosa, layered with her other speciality as an African mouth-bow player; and Coco Zhao from China, who is the one international performer selected by the Arte Viva team for his exquisite singing and sensitively articulated fusion of Jazz with traditional Chinese music.
Arte Viva founder and managing director, Nikki Froneman, said, “The world has been deeply impacted by the pandemic, but one thing that has not changed, is the desire for and connection to music that moves the heart, the soul - and often, the feet! Southern African music is widely appreciated and enjoyed across the world, and we believe there is significant opportunity to increase international touring.
Image supplied: Mthwakazi
“We are immensely proud of this new roster, and we are confident the time is right for expansion and introducing these artists to keen audiences in new territories,” Froneman said.
Arte Viva’s presence at ILMC is supported by the South African Department of Sports, Arts and Culture, through their Mzansi Golden Economy programme.