Fusion of music in Paarl

Chadleigh Gowar will perform with his trio.

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 November 21, at 6.30pm.

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 Gowar, 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 homegrown music with Mobo singing the legendary hits of Miriam Makeba, Brenda Fassie, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Lira, Thandiswa Mazwai, Judith Sephuma and Mafikizolo, while trumpeter Kunnuji will do justice to Hugh Masekela’s music.

Gowar will also be paying tribute to his bass heroes, Sipho Gumede and living legend Sammy Webber.

The rest of the band consists of Brynne Bailey on keyboards and Damian Kamineth on drums, while Paarl pianist and composer Marco Mentoor and Band will add to the line-up.

Gowar – 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.

Kunnuji 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 Mobo 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 Mentoor is a regular at the Taalmonument, and has performed with Jonathan Butler, Dr Victor and the Rasta Rebels, Elvis Blue and Jimmy Dludlu.

Guests can take picnic baskets, or pre-order one from the Oppi Berg Mobile Café on 060 382 9938.

The café will also be open for other food and drinks. Dress warmly and take a torch, and a mask.

Entry is R80, and R40 for children, and the show starts at 6.30pm.

Tickets are available from Computicket and from 5pm at the gate.

For more information, call 021 872 3441 or visit www.taalmonument.co.za or follow them on Facebook.