Umkhumbane Jazz Ensemble “EZINTABENI”


South Africa is a country with multiple cultures and stories, and thanks to democracy, black people’s stories are no longer censored. The UJE in partnership with Ethekwini Municipality, KwaZulu Natal Department of Arts & Culture and KZN Music House, have recorded their long overdue debut album, featuring respected musicians who have dedicated their lives to their music. The people of Umkhumbane endearingly called the area, Ezintabeni due to the “uneven landscapes” that housed informal settlements occupied by people of all races. The unification of races and cultures made it possible for the members of the band to tap into a broad landscape of memories when creating their debut album. UJE have put a huge effort into recording this album for the purpose of creating valuable archive material for arts and musical heritage. The Sagiya Foundation made it possible for UJE to share the stories of their beloved home with us, aiming to hit the global market. UJE features legends from Ethekwini Municipality. Reeds section: Moses Sefatsha, Jerry Kunene, Muntu Dube, Sithembiso Ntuli and Mduduzi Magwaza Brass section: Eric Duma and Bheki Luthuli Vocals: Adolph “Mbova” Kunene Keys: Vincent Mthetwa Bass: KB ‘The Master’ Maphumulo Guitar: Mduduzi Mahlobo Drums: Atlas Duma Every member of the 11-piece band had a hand in crafting at least one of the album’s 12 compositions. UJE then included some commemoration songs from African Jazz Pioneers: Sigaxa Mabhande and Way Back 50’s. UJE has more than a century of musical experience between them, the number of years of musical prowess goes up even further when you factor in the 12 original band members and 9 featured musicians who held the band’s hand in the creation process. UJE has been giving out great vibes and grooves for such a long time that playing has become more of a reflex than a task. That has not stopped the band from seeking newer and inventive ways to bring their stories across, they have never stopped practising, and they never will – that’s what makes them special according to Moses Sefatsa. Music is much more than a sensory experience, it can be used to advance all types of ideologies, UJE’s philosophy is centred on the conservation of, “African music culture and heritage”. The band is a glowing sign for resilience with regards to pursuing your dreams – just think about how long they’ve been playing without releasing an album. Bring some extra cash and pick up this important record of our heritage. R80 at the Door or online Doors open 13:00, show starts at 14:00

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