Music Lecturer’s Band Launches Album at Jazz CentreGeneral

UKZN Music Lecturer Dr Sazi Dlamini (far left) and his band, SKOKIANA.UKZN Music Lecturer Dr Sazi Dlamini (far left) and his band, SKOKIANA.

UKZN’s Music Lecturer Dr Sazi Dlamini and his band SKOKIANA launched their highly anticipated album at the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music (CJPM) on Wednesday, 29 March.

SKOKIANA performed numbers from the album, composed and arranged by Dlamini and recorded in Durban in 2011.

The CD, titled SKOKIANA, will be available soon online at iTunes, Google Play and other streaming services such as Deezer and Spotify.

SKOKIANA, founded in 1991 as a quartet, plays in the jazz-influenced township tradition. The original members were 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 in Durban.

Over the years, student talent in UKZN’s Music Studies programmes have sustained the longevity of SKOKIANA. At the end of their studies, members invariably depart for Johannesburg’s musical horizons, thus making way for younger players to join.

Said Dlamini: ‘The band has always had UKZN Music students as members – when some graduate, others take their place in the line-up. UKZN alumni who have played for SKOKIANA include Thami Mtshali, Sthembiso Ntuli, Maynard Mabatle, Geoffrey Tracey, Carlos di Stasi, Christopher Mashiane, Nkanyezi Cele, Lebohang Mothabeng, Phiwe Solomon, Mfana Mlambo, Fezile Faku and Dumisani Nxumalo.’

The sessions released in the CD were recorded in June 2011 with the following line-up: Sazi Dlamini (composition, voice, guitar, kalimba, isigubhu and percussion), Sithembiso Ntuli (tenor saxophone), Sakhile Simani (trumpet and fluegelhorn), Sibusiso ‘Bernard’ Mndaweni (bass) and Kgosietsile ‘Paki’ Peloeole (drums and congas).

‘Since its founding, SKOKIANA has always performed live, as a band of variable size – from a trio up to a 17- piece. I hope this is the first of many recordings of an extensive repertoire I have composed specially for this ensemble over the years,’ said Dlamini.

Melissa Mungroo