Yenana to perform his sextet at this year’s jazz festival

This year’s Standard Bank Jazz Festival is celebrating key jazz milestones and King William’s Town pianist Andile Yenana will be among artists who will be taking the stage later this month.
The jazz line-up promises to make this year’s 31st addition at the National Arts Festival an unforgettable experience.
He will be presenting his sextet Umngqungqo Wabantu. Yenana will be accompanied by Linda Sikhakhane on the saxophone, Marcus Wyatt on trumpet, Kyle du Preez on the trombone, Christoph King-Utzinger will be playing bass and Michi Stulz will be on drums.
Yenana has performed extensively with a range of South African jazz stars, including Zim Ngqawana, Winston “Mankunku” Ngozi and Sibongile Khumalo.
In 1996, Yenana travelled to Norway as part of a cultural exchange and recorded with Ngqawana and Norwegian musician and leader of the project, Bjorn Ole Solberg.
In 2002, Yenana and Ngqawana returned to Norway to record the latter’s debut album Zimology at the Rainbow Studios in Oslo.
Yenana and Ngqawana toured England in 1998 where they played British musicians led by the legendary Keith Tippet. The relationship between the two saw them touring Europe, the US and South Africa and five albums were recorded during this period where Yenana was part of Ngqawana’s rhythm section.
The last international performance they had was in 2006 where they performed a duet in Paris at Citi de la Musique (Lavevillette).
A year prior to their last tour, Yenana was named the Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz and since then he has continued to make a name for himself as a pianist.
Yenana’s music is notable for its evocative, soulful power and ensemble playing.
He said the Umngqungqo Wabantu would feature his latest compositions which would also mark the celebrations of his 50th birthday.
“The project features arrangements of traditional Xhosa initiation songs worked into jazz-inspired sensibilities and pulses, all the while celebrating free and boundless improvisation,” he said.
Other musicians expected to perform during the Standard Bank Jazz Festival include Thandi Ntuli, Nduduzo Makhathini, Shane Cooper, Ayanda Sikade, Sikhakhane, Sisonke Xonti, saxophonist McCoy Mrubata and pianist Paul Hanmer.
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