Fusion of music and language rooted in Africa at the Taalmonument

The rich South African, and indeed African, jazz tradition will be the melodic focus of the Afrikaans Language Museum and Monument’s (ATM’s) balmy sunset picnic on Saturday, 21 November 2020. Just as the ATM celebrates its 45th year with the motto “Rooted in Africa”, local jazz stars will pay homage to this international musical style that is rooted in the continent and its people. The Chadleigh Gowar Trio, featuring Anathi Mobo and Jo Kunnuji, promise to take the audience on a musical journey while the sun melts away behind the iconic monument.

It will be a celebration of home-grown music with Anathi singing the legendary hits of Miriam Makeba, Brenda Fassie, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Lira, Thandiswa Mazwai, Judith Sephuma and Mafikizolo while the amazing trumpeter Jo will do justice to Hugh Masekela’s music. Chadleigh will also be paying tribute to his bass heroes, Sipho Gumede and living legend Sammy Webber. The rest of the talented band consists of Brynne Bailey on keyboards and Damian Kamineth on drums while Paarl pianist and composer Marco Mentoor & Band will add to the exciting line-up. The evening will include afro-jazz classics that will keep you on your feet all night as well as some beautiful songs that will make your heart smile.

Chadleigh – who recently won a Standard Bank Ovation award at the Makhanda National Arts Festival – has played with the likes of Ernie Smith, Kani Naidoo, Les Javan, Ramon Alexander and Simangele Mashazi, and recorded bass on albums for Dumisani, Stellenbosch Libertas Choir and Seuns van Sion, to mention a few.

Jo holds a PhD in Ethnomusicology and is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Cape Town. He combines teaching, research and performance in his exploration of African music. Inspired by West African Ogu music, his band, The Jo Kunnuji Experiment, blends popularised jazz and indigenous African elements to create musical syntheses.

At age 17 Anathi was the lead vocalist of the Groote Schuur high school jazz band, performing at various venues in and around Cape Town. Currently she is the lead vocalist for the Little Giants Big band – performing at the Tieties Bay Jazz on the Rocks as well as Jazzathon, among others – while completing her Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Vocal Studies and Performance at UCT.

Paarl legend Marco is a regular at the Taalmonument, and has performed with amongst others Jonathan Butler, Dr Victor & the Rasta Rebels, Elvis Blue and Jimmy Dludlu. This time around it is him and his talented orchestra impressing visitors with their amazing performance.

Guests are welcome to bring their own picnic baskets or pre-order one from the Oppi Berg Mobile Café on 060 382 9938 (R250 per couple, R450 per family of four). The café will also be open for other food and drinks. Dress warmly and bring a torch, and a mask. See www.taalmuseum.co.za/covid-19/ for the specific protocols.

Entry is only R80 per adult and R40 for children, and the show starts at 18:30. Tickets are available from Computicket and, if there are any left, from 17:00 at the gate on the day itself. Annual permits are available at R120 for individuals or R220 per family (currently offered at a 20%-discount), which includes access to all Full Moon Picnics.

For more information on all the other exciting events, concerts and courses at the Taalmonument (and it 45th birthday celebrations in 2020), call 021 872 3441/863 0543, visit www.taalmonument.co.za or follow them on Facebook.