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Tlale Makhene @ Bahle Gallery
22 November 2017 @ 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm| E50
In association with Concerts SA, Tlale Makhene presents the Swazi Gold SADC Tour, a series of performances and workshops by the award-winning, world acclaimed percussionist on occasion of his latest studio release.
After two successful tour legs – in Swaziland at the end of August and in Maputo on the first week of October –, Tlale Makhene heads to Swaziland back by popular demand. On Wednesday 22 November he will perform at Bahle Gallery.
The purpose of the tour is to mainly promote his second album Swazi Gold, collaborate with artists in different cultures, share, educate and learn. “This the new album is a piece of my heart; the colours of my soul”, Tlale says.
In Soshanguve, Tlale will be joined by vibraphone, marimba icon Ngwako Manamela, who has recorded with legends like Miriam Makeba, Don Laka, Moses Khumalo, Zim Ngqawana, Hugh Masekela, Vusi Mahlasela and Khaya Mahlangu. In 2008 he released his album Ramelodi in Hugh Masekela’s Chisa record company, receiving a SAMA Award nomination. Ngwako now teaches young musicians in the country how to play the vibraphone.
Highly regarded by musicians and musical fans alike as one of South Africa’s most remarkable drumming talents, Tlale Makhene has been featured in and produced more than 300 jazz and world music albums. Known as “The Groove Master” because of his amazing skill and concepts around polyrhythmic/melodic music, Tlale is a much sought-after indigenous music teacher, musical director, session musician and performer. His workshops encompass rhythm and body percussion for beginners, intermediate and master classes.
Officially launched in April 28th 2017 at the Soweto Theatre, Swazi Gold (Makotopong Sound Studios, 2017) “is a project that brings back both my childhood and upbringing in Swaziland. It is a dedication to the music, the people and the kingdom of Swaziland. Not only that but also all the kings and queens of Swaziland from Ingwenyama Mswati III and Umhlekazi Indlovukati, up to the beginning of Amambo. With this project it is my way of paying honour to Mvelincanti, Ancenstors and Orishas for providing me the chance to heal the world with Ingomas (Song, Dance, Herbs and Divinity). To all following my offering across the globe, blessed always in abundance”, Tlale explains.
Tlale Makhene prides himself of his Swazi roots and traditions and that is the base and essence of the inspiration laced on the album. Likewise, SwaziGold is an expression of that pride and showcases the richness of Swaziland’s music and culture, as well as the artist’s love and appreciation of the culture and African culture in general. For example the music is largely inspired by the Swati traditional musical instruments. The aim of the tour is to showcase and share this richness of culture with other artists and the world.
This tour promises an assurance of artist development, collaboration and cultural synergy that provides an opportunity where new sounds can emerge. It offers a time in life for artists to come together and share, create and perform in celebration of their cultures and music.
Furthermore the Swazi Gold SADC Tour seeks to expand the bridge between artists, for example “as an artist sharing the experience I have had and attained as an artist in my musical journey and others sharing their experiences too which may inadvertently make a difference in individual’s musical journey’s. This certainly creates an undeniable pool of knowledge one can take back home and apply. It is a music school on the move”, Tlale says.
By and large Tlale feels that these collaborations will expand his scope and understanding of other cultures as much as it will broaden the scope of the artists he will be meeting, sharing and collaborating with on this tour. This tour encourages the fellowship and playing music away from a musicians comfort zone which challenges the artist to seek inspiration from elsewhere. It’s like hearing your book being critiqued and instantly translated into another language and still sounding as good as it is in its original language. In Tlale’s own words: “The idea is to collaborate with the artists in the countries we’ll be visiting, conduct workshops and clinics in the days leading to the performance and using the same artists to perform ‘SwaziGold’ and also the new music created from the workshops. The objective is to teach, learn, share and perform with a new band every time we visit a country. This helps keep the music and the performance fresh and new all the time.”
The workshops will help individuals and bands expand their knowledge. By the same token the clinics will show how practically their knowledge can be actualized. While the collaborations are geared at sharing, where artists bring their knowledge, experience and talent to explore new possibilities. All of this will take place in the three days leading to the performance which will happen on the fourth. On the whole this tour is an ideal excursion for Tlale Makhene as it stands for everything that he believes in, his passion as an artist, his dream as a world educator and his love as a life student.