The Story of South African Jazz KZN Book Launches

Celebrate the launch with us May 3rd & June 7th @ the Rainbow Restaurant Pinetown.


Rainbow restaurant in Pinetown, a pioneer for live jazz and African music is in its 34 th year. They present live music, first Sunday of every month and are compiling and shooting a feature documentary on the colorful. Their support of The Story of SA Jazz Book Launch is a joint initiative to give a musical platform to some of the major legends of the unique and big Sound of Durban Jazz.

May 3 rd 2015 from 1PM to 6PM Elias ‘S’Dumo’ Ngidi & Umkhumbane

June 7 th 2015 from 1PM to 6PM  Eric Duma and Jazz Express

These shows are a celebration of the successful launch of book The Story of SA Jazz Volume One … and are made possible with the support of Rainbow Restaurant, Concerts SA and the audiences. Tickets are available at R100. Books will be on sale at R200

Introduction to the multi-instrumentalist, Elias ‘S’dumo’ Ngidi

Elias S’dumo Ngidi is a musician that features prominently in the book The Story of SA Jazz Volume One. He is a musical father, born and based in Kwa Zulu Natal. He is a pioneer and preserves the art of improvisation that jazz music is built upon.

S’dumo grew up in Umkhumbane, multi-cultural inner city dwelling. S’dumo was at school and performed with bass player Agrippa Magwaza. Agrippa used the sound of his ruler to imitate the bass guitar whilst still at school. S’dumo was one of the lucky ones. He had an instrument. He played pennywhistle. And he has played it throughout his life, still preferring it for any important concert dates. S’dumo has performed with such legends as The Shange Brothers, Winston Mankunku, Babsy Mlangeni and Teaspoon Ndlelu. He excelled as a trumpet player throughout the ‘inxile’ years, late 60’s to mid 80’s. Golden Boy was a reputation that he held throughout his performances on trumpet with Winston Mankunku and then the Shange brothers. Over and above trumpet, S’dumo is a multi-instrumentalist. His favourite instrument for entertaining is the guitar and vocals. With guitar and vocals so much story telling through music is possible. It is often such stories that bring people together. S’dumo says, “Music can tame a lion.” S’dumo always carries his pennywhistle to any stage he is invited. Pennywhistle is light and easy to carry. You can take it anywhere and always have it with you, in your pocket. S’dumo is a great educator too. S’dumo has shown this through the education of his own children. Philani Ngidi is a well-known performing, recording and teaching bass guitar player in Durban. Lee Ngidi is an up and coming bass player in Durban.

S’dumo will perform at the launch of The Story of SA Jazz in a trio with his grandson Lee Ngidi.

Elias S'dumo Ngidi
Elias S’dumo Ngidi

Introduction to Umkhumbane

Umkhumbane is an all-star South African jazz band that has the power of preservation and stamp of authenticity of a world changing pioneering musical outfit. They are a big band featuring the following legendary musicians. Jerry Kunene and Muntu Dube on Alto saxophones; S’thembiso Ntuli and Moses Sefatsa on tenor saxophones; Eric Duma on trumpet; Mdu Mahlobo on guitar; Zithulele Dlamini on drums; KB Maphumulo on bass; Nothando Madondo on trombone and vocals; and Adolph Kunene on vocals.

Umkhumbane takes its name from the suburb Umkhumbane which holds a legendary status in the history of our music. In reference to this multi-cultural hotspot (before it was demolished by apartheid) Umkhumbane was a musical performed in Durban in the 1960’s, written by Alan Paton with music by Todd Matshikiza. Umkhumbane the musical opened in Durban on March 29th, 1960, only one week after the Sharpeville Massacre and at the time of a declaration of a State of Emergency and the exile of many musicians. Historically speaking, the band members of Umkhumbane today, were the inxiles. They are the musicians who stayed at home to take keep the fire of their cultural expression alive so that one day the multi cultural haven that was Umkhumbane, the suburb, can be created. And that time is now. Umkhumbane has developed a strong reputation over the many years they have been together. Musically it is always an awesome show, made more astonishing by the pace of the music kept fast and fresh although some of these musicians are quite advanced in age. Tenor Saxophonist Moses Sefatsa, is the oldest member. He is well into his eighties. He started as a youngster on pennywhistle and performed in the original cast of Umkhumbane. Trumpet player Eric Duma has a clear and rasping trumpet tone. His phrases are pointed and he has a knack of keeping great time, perhaps as a result of his previous training as a dancer.   In the rhythm section is the bass player KB Maphumulo. KB is also a legendary music educator from ukuSa. Tenor saxophonist S’thembiso Ntuli’s sweet sounds of his saxophone love to waft through the thick Durban summer air. And that is only the tip of the iceberg of this big musical ensemble. They need to be experienced to be enjoyed. Umkhumbane also have the knack of getting the famous Rainbow train going. The rainbow train starts up near closing time, when the musicians come to play their last songs. Lead by the music and the love of the music, the audience members dance around the venue in single file, in one long and joyous train of freewheeling fun.


Umkhumbane Ensemble featuring Jerry Kunene
Umkhumbane Ensemble featuring Jerry Kunene

Introduction to Eric Duma and Jazz Express

Trumpeter Eric Duma is the glue that keeps Durban’s jazz scene afloat. He is a trained dancer and together with long-time collaborator S’thembiso Ntuli is a member of the army’s marching band.

Eric and S’thembiso have a strong musical relationship with the virtuoso saxophonist Khaya Dlamini. Together they performed in Durban’s popular jazz band Just Friends and will make up the front horn line of Erics latest project ‘Jazz Express.” Eric calls in a great bass player from Durban’s jazz scene to perform with Jazz Express. This is none other than Bernard Mdaweni, a man who has had international acclaim with his performance, collaboration and touring with Madala Kunene. Musically Jazz Express captures the big sound of Durban jazz, made famous by large growling basslines, big heavy percussions and rasping hornlines, stirred with raucus and rolling brass solos.

Eric Duma and Jazz Express
Eric Duma and Jazz Express

About the book, The Story of SA Jazz Volume One:

A COMPILATION OF COMMENTARIES AND INTERVIEWS FOR THE JAZZ ENTHUSIAST THE MUSIC LOVER. Interviews with Moses Molelekwa, Robbie Jansen, Gito Baloi, Ezra Ngcukana, Miriam Makeba, Louis Moholo, Theo Bophela, Hugh Masekela, Sathima Bea Benjamin, Carlo Mombelli, Marcus Wyatt, Claude Deppa, Morris Goldberg, Abdullah Ibrahim, Moses Khumalo, Vince Colbe, Mr Brookes, Mac Mackenzie and the Goema Captains of Cape Town. Together with running commentary of a life lived and learned through the lens of heart centred South African jazz musical vibration.

This book covers topics such as The South African Jazz revolution, the golden moment of NOW; the romantics of District six, Sophiatown and Umkhumbane; Humanity in exile; The eternal flame of Xhosa Africa Cape Jazz; South African Jazz and the battle for blood; pursuits in the recording industry; Guru master relationships; the Spirits of Tembisa & healing destinations …

The Story of SA Jazz Volume One is a great journey into exposing one of the most profound musical languages to ever come out of this country. Jazz it is said is the classical music of the 20th century. Through a collection of interviews, articles and commentaries, ‘The Story of SA Jazz Volume One’ exposes the extraordinary role South African musicians have played in the development of jazz music and humanity worldwide. The hard copy of the book (backed up in slide film and mini disks) is deposited at ILAM (International Library of African Music) where it is made permanently available to education.

About the author:

The Story of SA Jazz is written by Struan Douglas. Struan is the founding director of music portal, online since 01/04/2000. Struan has contributed on South African Jazz for a variety of publications since being a columnist for Big Issue magazine 1999 – 2000, Downbeat magazine 1999 and Sawubona 2003. Some of the magazines like Bejazzed and Directions that he contributed for are no longer in publication. He wrote regularly for Independent newspapers countrywide and the Mail and Guardian. He has provided interviews for radio.

Quoting from the introduction to the book:

” Our Story of Southern African Jazz’ is a story that IS because it is a story that has become its writer. I was awakened by the patience, understanding, tolerance and forgiveness of many jazz professors, jazz ambassadors and jazz warriors. There is truth, acceptance, warmth, generosity and transformation in this music. As much as my life has been formed and shaped by SA Jazz, SA Jazz has been formed and shaped by different lives lived in every multi coloured shade of human experience.”

Overview to the launch concerts:

The Story of South African jazz is built upon the stories of many great musicians and pioneers. The launch of the Story of SA Jazz is both a book launch and a presentation focused on live performance, sharing and enjoyment. So many musicians have made this book a reality that the launch is merely a platform for saying thank you and at the same time celebrating their work. The launch concerts are not only a celebration and closure for the successful self publishing of the Story of SA Jazz, it is a platform for respect, tribute and opportunity and material for Volume Two …

by Struan Douglas
072 956 8134