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Lwanda Gogwana

South African born jazz trumpeter and composer, Lwanda Gogwana fuses traditional Xhosa music with jazz harmonies and contemporary music elements in his compositions. Lwanda was born in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, the home of the Ama-Xhosa. He started his musical career at school, singing in school choirs, and taking lessons in both piano and trumpet. During his high school period, he toured Namibia and UK, whilst playing in a number of national youth bands of South Africa. He enrolled at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in 2005 for a Bachelor of music degree in composition and arrangement under Prof Peter Klatzow and Prof Mike Campbell, and received scholarship to study in Norway, Europe on exchange at the Norges Musikkhogskole based at the University of Oslo. During his professional career, he has played, & at most times composed for a number of artists and bands in South Africa, including the UCT big band, Abdullah Ibrahim’s Cape Town Jazz Orchestra, Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Band of 2007, the Tete Mbambisa band, Bokani Dyer, Lulama Gaulana, Simphiwe Dana, Neo Muyanga, Jimmy Dludlu, Steve Dyer, Moreira Chonguica, Ezra Ngcukana, Errol Dyers, Tete Mbambisa, Robbie Jansen, Bruce Cassidy, John Fedchock, Thandi Klaasen, Judith Sephuma, Marcus Wyatt, Nomfusi, Buddy Wells and Max Vidima and his very own composition based project, The Lwanda Gogwana Songbook. Having played at many festivals, including the Cape Town International Jazz festival, The Joy of Jazz festival in Johannesburg, The National Youth Jazz festival in Grahamstown, the Wigan Jazz Festival in England, still today, Lwanda continues to perform in and out of South Africa. Lwanda has also been involved in a couple of community building projects, including teaching and conducting workshops in and around Cape Town, and is also part of a youth run organization, RYTHM (reaching youth through music) that aims at promoting South African music to the youth

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Sisonke Xonti: A Leap of Faith

Read "Sisonke Xonti: A Leap of Faith" reviewed by Seton Hawkins

Known for years as an outstanding saxophonist and first-call collaborator in a variety of top South African Jazz ensembles, in recent years Sisonke Xonti has rightly earned acclaimed for his own talents as a bandleader and a composer. Notably, Xonti's 2017 debut release Iyonde not only provided a stellar showcase for his superlative horn ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Nicky Schrire: Permission to Be Yourself

Read "Nicky Schrire: Permission to Be Yourself" reviewed by Seton Hawkins

To follow the recordings of Cape Town-based vocalist and composer Nicky Schrire is to watch an artist evolve right in front of your eyes. With her 2012 debut Freedom Flight, Schrire demonstrated a supple soprano vocal technique and a knack for intelligent arrangements of unusual repertoire choices. Following it up the next year with ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Vuma Levin: Musical Painting

Read "Vuma Levin: Musical Painting" reviewed by Seton Hawkins

South African guitarist and composer Vuma Levin has been receiving significant accolades in local and international circles, and it's easy to see why. A thoughtful, intelligent improviser and bandleader, Levin is also a highly thought-provoking composer, one intent on exploring the music's role in commenting on and shaping societal discourse. Indeed, with last year's ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Lwanda Gogwana: Tradition and Innovation

Read "Lwanda Gogwana: Tradition and Innovation" reviewed by Seton Hawkins

When South African trumpet virtuoso Lwanda Gogwana released his second album Uhadi Synth (Lwanda Gogwana Music Group, 2016) last year, he reinforced his position not only as one of South Africa's truly exceptional horn talents, but also as one of its most probing and insightful artists and composers. The title of the album itself--the ...


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