Hard working composer and guitarist Cebo Ngema is launching his debut album “Ulibo Lokuqala – First Fruit” at the Durban Playhouse on 26 April.  The project was released on 15 March 2022.  With Covid restrictions that were imposed since 2020, he was compelled to do it on a small-scale.  The 32 year old who is a huge fan of Allen Kwela feels it is appropriate to do the launch and reach a wider audience of music lovers.

Despite the process not going according to his initial wish, Cebo’s album has been well received by music lovers and critics, gaining a lot of airplay across South Africa radio stations.  His hard work that he and the production did in the studio won him Best Jazz Guitarist Award at the Mzansi Musical Instrumentalist Awards in 2022.  He is renowned for fusing Jazz with Maskandi and Mbaqanga, probably as a result of him spending part of his childhood in KwaMaphumulo, north of KwaZulu-Natal.

Guitarist Cebo Ngema. Picture by King Give Thanks Communication

The album has a myriad of tastes from many genres with a strong Cebo Ngema sound maintained throughout.  This 10 track recording has songs like “Nombuyiselo”, “Ingoma ka Gogo” and “Maun”.  It also a song he composed for his music lecturer, Demi Fernandez, titled “Mr Fernandez”.  He is very grateful for the role Fernandez played in becoming the guitarist he is today.  His versatility as a guitarist has seen him working with a wide variety of artists and ensembles which have gained him the experience he is grateful for.

Cebo has invited the internationally acclaimed and globe-trotting Mbuzeni Mkhize as well as the darling of KZN and award Hloniphani Art to grace the stage on this eagerly awaited album launch.  His band will be made up of highly talented musicians.  They include pianist Sibonelo Nxumalo, trumpeter Thabo Sikhakhane, trombonist Siyalo Zulu, bassist Mbonisi Nhleko, drummer Bucco Xaba and percussionist Menzi Mkhize.

This album was recorded at the Playhouse Company Recording Studios, mixed and mastered by the Playhouse resident technician Elvis Gangiah.  It was released under Cebo Ngema’s company MCNZ Entertainment.  Tickets for the album launch are selling at Webtickets for R120.  Like and follow the guitarist on Facebook Cebo Ngema Jazz & Popular Music.  Follow him on Instagram @cebo.ngema