UKZN Centre for Jazz and Popular Music and iSupport Creative Business in proud association with Casio are once again presenting three musicians as part of their 9th online concert taking place on Wednesday 3 June.  This week’s edition will feature all-female jazz band Heels Over Head, pianist Lukhetho Mthethwa and percussionist Ashish Joshi.  All three artists will present the audience with a 20-minute set.

Lukhetho Mthethwa

This pianist brings jazz with African and gospel influences.  His music reflects the journey he has travelled, from his childhood influences to his current influences, one can hear the sounds from church to the African sounds and an influential jazz culture.  Raised in a township called Esikhawini; he inherited the passion for music from his dad, who was a choirmaster at a school.  At the age of 5 Mthethwa started playing piano at his dad’s church.  His playing grew when he started playing for community groups around his township and the school choir in his high school.

Lukhetho studied music at UKZN and has played with and produced albums for many professional musicians such as Ernie Smith, Swazi Dlamini, Tshepo Mngoma, Siphokazi, Nokukhanya Dlamini, Judith Sephuma, Ntokozo Mbambo, Nqubeko Mbatha, Mthunzi Namba, Jabu Hlongwane, Sibongile Khumalo and more.  Currently, he is directing music for Gospel Goes Classical that features artists from all over the world, and he is the musical director for Gospel Time, a television show that plays on SABC 2 every Sunday.  Mthethwa is the artistic director and producer of the formidable gospel group Joyous Celebration.

Heels Over Head 

This all-female afro-jazz/pop band from Durban was founded by vocalist Thulile Zama in 2008.  Their music is referred to as smooth jazz or easy-breezy pop-jazz, they developed an unusual and smart signature sound that consists of current African-influenced music and uniquely re-arranged standards.  The band is known for making the audience get on their feet and dance to their rhythmic bass lines and their cheerful melodies.

Over the years, the sound of the band has grown tremendously in terms of dynamics, arrangements, compositions and performance while still staying true to all their original fans.  Heels Over Head has found their groove by creating a watertight sound that can be enjoyed by all who experience their music.  Some of the band’s career highlights are winning of the Yamaha Young Talent Award in 2010, launching their debut album Could It Be, that received a nomination for a South African Music Award in 2011 and their performance at the New Orleans Essence Festival.

Ashish Joshi

This percussionist began his musical training under the capable guidance of the much respected South African teacher Jeram Bhana.  He underwent four years of training in the classical form of the art of percussion.  At the same time, he continued to play at religious gatherings for his spiritual group Rishi (Ramakrishna Institute of Spirituality and Hinduism).  When he was 17, he teamed up with Marc Duby, Greg Hadjiyorki Georgiades and Priyesh Bhana to perform in the eastern world music project Avaaz.

Two years on, he formed the duo Strings and Skins and released an album of the same name.  This duo went on to perform stunning concerts around southern Africa and did some remarkable collaborations with rap-metal group Not My Dog, Tony Cox on his China album, as well as Madala Kunene and the DJ remix product Krushed and Sorted.  Ashish has also accompanied various artists including Steve Newman, the late great bassist Gito Baloi, Neo Munyanga, Rob Watson and Barry van Zyl to name a few during his 16 years of performance.  Ashish continued to dazzle audiences around southern Africa with his ever-growing percussive expression on the table, djembe, darbuka and dhol.

2006 and 2007 were busy years for Ashish featuring with Vivid Afrika who toured South Africa in 2006 and performed at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival 2007.  Ashish is playing and recording with Greg Georgiades for their group Skins ‘n Skins but also playing with Madala Kunene, Ernest Mothle and Bernard Mndaweni for DVD releases.  In November 2006 Ashish gathered a group of young classical Indian trained musicians for a recording and filming of the project PRIVATE STASH.

The minimum charge to watch the concert is R40 and tickets are available on Webtickets.  The full contribution of the audience will go straight to the artists to support and sustain South Africa’s beloved musicians through this testing time.  Musicians can submit a video that is created especially for the concert, which is likely to be a solo performance or minimal ensemble in this period of social distance.  You can also submit previously recorded videos that are not widely available on the Internet, and are part of your archive.

Get your ticket at where you can get a monthly concert pass and donate.  The link will be sent at 6pm and audience can watch at their convenience.