Skokiana Album Launch @ The Rainbow/UKZN Centre For Jazz

26 and 29 March
In association with Concerts SA, Skokiana’s highly anticipated self-titled album will be launching at two events this month on the 26th at The Rainbow and on 29th at the Centre for Jazz.
Skokiana will perform songs from the album, composed and arranged by Sazi Dlamini and recorded in Durban in 2011.
The CD will be available for purchase at the events for R100, and will also soon be available online at iTunes, Google Play and other online streaming services like Deezer and Spotify.
Skokiana was founded in 1991 as a quartet, playing in the jazz-influenced township tradition. The original members were Sazi Dlamini on guitar, the late Leonard Rachabane on tenor saxophone, Bongani Sokhela on bass and Jabu Dube on drums. At the time they were all music students at the then University of Natal, Durban.
Over more than two decades Skokiana’s line-up has included outstanding musicians, among them: Maynard Mabatle, Geoffrey Tracey, Carlos di Stasi and Sithembiso Hlela (percussionists); Chris Mashiane, Dumisani Hlela, Nkanyezi Cele, Lebohang Mothabeng and Bonga Mzimela (drummers); Thami Mtshali, Phiwe Solomon, Njeza Dlamini, Mandla Zikalala and Sandile Cele (bassists); Mfana Mlambo and Dick Hathorn (saxophonists); Fezile Faku (trumpet and fluegelhorn); Dumisani Nxumalo (trombone) and Siphelele Dlamini (pennywhistle and flute).
Over the years the longevity of Skokiana has been sustained by student talent selected into UKZN’s music studies programmes. At the end of their studies members invariably depart for Johannesburg’s musical horizons, thus making way for younger players of promise. Since 1996 Skokiana has fielded variably-sized groups (from trios to 17-piece big-bands). Many such appearances have been documented – images and notes on some of these projects will be also be posted in due course.
The sessions (June 2011) released in this volume involved the following line-up of musicians: Sazi Dlamini (composition, voice, guitar, kalimba, isigubhu, percussion), Sithembiso Ntuli (tenor saxophone), Sakhile Simani (trumpet, fluegelhorn), Sibusiso ‘Bernard’ Mndaweni (bass), Kgosietsile ‘Paki’ Peloeole (drums, congas).
Sazi Dlamini, who holds a PhD degree in musicology from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, was born in 1960. He began school in 1967 at Dududu Bantu Community School and Magabheni Primary, matriculating from Amanzimtoti Zulu Training School, formerly known as Adams College , in 1979. A science degree undergraduate at the University of Fort Hare in 1980, his studies were disrupted as a result of student protests (and subsequent closure of the university by the army). From 1981 until 1987 Sazi was registered for MBChB at the University of Natal’s Black Section (UNB), envisaging a possible medical career from which he was diverted as a result of his passion for music. His formal musical training include a Diploma in Musical Performance (Jazz) from the then University of Natal (1991), followed by a Bachelor of Music (1995) and Master of Music degree in Ethnomusicology (1997).

Sazi is an ethno-musicologist, composer and unique performer in the jazz-influenced style of South African music whose initial recording, composing and performance career is documented in, among other albums, Zanusi (1989,and African Tributes (1992). To support a protracted student career (and fatherhood since 1991), Sazi simultaneously freelanced as composer for children’s educational radio and television programmes including Takalani Sesame (1999]), We Care (2001), Children’s Rights Awareness and Just a Little Smile (2002), Adventures at the Waterhole (2001), Making It (2003),A Child is A Child (because of other people) (2005), Women and Men Against Violence Against Women (2001), Learning Together: Inclusive Education and Early Childhood Development (2002); historical documentary video including Umkhumbane: an Oral History and Cato Manor: Contested Past, Pivotal Future (2007); original soundtrack for short film The Sky In Her Eyes (2001)- winner of the Djibril Diop Mambety Prize for Best African Short Film at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival- and feature-length film Izulu Lami (2008). Sazi has recorded many original musical pieces that employ indigenous Nguni instruments such as bows, drums and flutes, which he has manufactured himself, as well as other African musical instruments. He is a versatile performer and mediator across a regional diversity of musical performance, with a long-standing involvement in the creative contextualisation of indigenous, popular and formal musical performance across cultures and genres of music.
In 2016 he convened the 1st International Bow Music Conference ( and was co-awardee of the NIHSS Book, Creative and Digital Collections Award for his thesis entitled “South African Blue Notes: bebop, mbaqanga, apartheid and the exiling of a musical imagination”.
Also in 2016, Sazi accepted the eThekwini Municipality’s Living Legends Award, in recognition of his contributions to arts and culture, for his work in the preservation and promotion of indigenous KZN music genres such as maskandi, mbaqanga, isicathamiya and children’s musical performance, as well as theatre and dance, and his critical role in musical performance, education and social transformation.
Concerts SA is a joint South African/Norwegian initiative housed under the auspices of the Stakeholder Hub within the SAMRO Foundation; it receives financial, administrative and technical support from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the SAMRO Foundation and Concerts Norway. Working with musicians, promoters, venue owners and audiences, the project aims to support live music in South Africa by finding and implementing ways to create a vibrant and viable live music circuit. It also aims to develop an interest in and appreciation of live music by showcasing music performances and conducting workshops at schools. For more information please visit our website, follow @ConcertsSA on Twitter at or like us on Facebook at
VENUE: The Rainbow (23 Stanfield Lane, Pinetown, Durban)
TIME: Doors open at 1.00PM, concert starts at 2.00PM
TICKETS: R80 at the door or online at
INFO: 031 7029161 or

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