Science & Cocktails with Jazz
Live at The Orbit
(Scientific presentation followed by SA Jazz)

Tuesday 27th June 2017 – 20 h 00 – R 20

What are medicinal plants? Why do they work? Can modern scientific methods and indigenous knowledge work together in identifying and using them? What is the path from a medicinal plant to a commercially available compound?

And how can we protect South Africa’s botanical heritage from over-exploitation and ensure its conservation?

In South Africa, traditional medicines provide a health system that is relevant for a large percentage of the population. Furthermore, medicinal plants are an important income source for those who collect and trade plants for various plant-based pharmaceutical industries.

Having developed within a hyper-diverse floral region, the various practices for utilisation of medicinal plants have led to a wide range of ethnic pharmacopeias which are uniquely South African in character. There is certainly enormous scope for this traditional knowledge to lead to commercial cures, and contribute both to human health at the global level as well as to the bioeconomy of South Africa.

In tonight’s session of Science & Cocktails, Nox Makunga will explain, through several examples, how her group at the University of Stellenbosch applies high-end functional genomics technologies to better understand the molecular mechanisms governing the synthesis of secondary compounds in medicinal plants. She will argue that this approach adds value to local flora which are intimately linked with traditional plant knowledge, but will also discuss the challenges ahead, as these technologies have not yet been broadly applied to non-model species with complex genomes.

Afterwards, medicinal cocktails at the bar to the soulful and healing sounds of the Phumelele Mzimela Ensemble.

Phumelele Mzimela – vocals
Hlumelo Ledwaba – vocals
Siphephelo Ndlovu – piano
Emmanuel Paul – bass
Thomas Nichol – drums


Dumza Maswana
Live at The Orbit!
(Contemporary SA Jazz)

Wednesday 28th June 2017 – 20 h 00 – R 150

Fast-becoming a household name, Dumza Maswana returns to The Orbit straight off celebrating his 2017 Sama nomination for Best African Adult Album.

Released in 2016, Molo had the touch of renowned producers, and Orbit regulars, Luyanda Madope, Nduduzo Makhathini, Banda Banda, and Gabriel Stuurman. Ever since, Dumza’s single and title track of the album, Molo, has enjoyed high radio rotation and has been climbing the top 40 Charts on Kaya FM.

On Wednesday, Dumza and his signature baritone voice will grace The Orbit stage with this chart-topping song and many other memorable songs from his album. The show will feature rhythmic music, mostly written in isiXhosa, with strong harmonies infused with Western jazz elements.

Luyanda Madope – piano
Gabriel Stuurman – keyboard
Tendai Shoxx Shoko – bass
Sam Ibeh – drums
Aldirt Du Toit – guitar
Thabo Mngomezulu – vocals
Kananelo Nyane – vocals
Sipho Mhlanga – vocals

Read more about Dumza Maswana


Billy Monama GrazRoots Trio
Live at The Orbit!
(Contemporary SA Jazz)

Thursday 29th June 2017 – 20 h 30 – R 130

This exciting and much-needed project sets out to revive history, and reconnect us with our South African musical heritage in order to give birth to a new soundtrack that will carry us into the future as a nation.

The GrazRoots Trio is the result of the GrazRoots Project that revisits old South African classics, and celebrates past South African composers and musicians. The presentation is vibrant and engaging, making sure the music is suitable for all types of audiences.

Following research that was conducted by Billy Monama, a performing artists, composer, arranger and guitar teacher, the establishment of the GrazRoots project was inspired by the realisation of how the legacy of uniquely South African guitar styles was fast disappearing.

Not only was it the voice of the guitar that was dying away, but a whole generation of musical culture and lifestyle was at risk of being forgotten. This is the sound that touched the world and gave us a voice through trying times in our history. This is the sound of Mbhaqanga, Mgqashiyo, Maskandi, African jazz and more.

Billy Monama – guitar
Themba Mokoena – guitar
Lindiwe Maxolo – vocals

Read more about Billy Monama 


New Skool Sextet
Live at The Orbit!
(Contemporary SA Jazz)

Friday 30th June 2017 – 20 h 30 – R 120

A much needed sizzler this winter, the New Skool presents a concert that features the New Skool Sextet, New Skool Strings as well as friends of the New Skool.

This concert is going to feature favourites from the New Skool Sextet’s debut album, “Birth of Change”, and new music that will be featured in the upcoming album.

Surprise guests, most from Pretoria, will represent some songs that have become the capital city’s anthems. Friday is definitely not to be missed. Come feel the fire and be Kulture Shocked.

Tshepo Tsotetsi – alto & soprano sax
Mamba Tshabalala – trumpet
Thabang Sithole – trombone
Pule Mpeke – drums
Musa Mdluli – piano
Sibusiso Sibanyoni – bass

Read more about New Skool Sextet


Herbie Tsoaeli Sandi Ensemble Assembly
Live at The Orbit!
(Contemporary SA Jazz)

Saturday 1st July 2017 – 20 h 30 – R 150

Herbie Tsoaeli returns to The Orbit with The Herbie Tsoaeli Sandi Ensemble Assembly to share iSandi, the Afrikan Time sounds. Afrikan Time sounds originate from the South African township backyard background echoes and experiences.

The Sandi Ensemble Assembly will be sharing some classics from Herbie Tsoaeli’s Sama-winning debut album “Afrikan Time” and new music continuing in the Afrikan Time spirit.

The Sandi Assembly is comprised of profound musicians in their own right, who also lead their own projects:

Herbie Tsoaeli – bass
Ayanda Sikade – drums
Nduduzo Makhathini – piano
Tshepo Tsotetsi – alto sax
Senzo Ngcobo – Trombone

Read more about Herbie Tsoaeli 



Sanctum Sanctorium
Live at The Orbit!
(Contemporary SA Jazz)

Sunday 2nd July 2017 – 17 h 30 – R 120

Heralded as one of the most exciting new voices in South African Jazz, drummer Tumi Mogorosi and vocalist Gabi Motuba will be embarking on a tour of Mauritius and South Africa in the month July. On Sunday, 2 July the Mogorosi and Motuba bring Sanctum Sanctorium to The Orbit.

Tumi Mogorosi and Gabi Motuba, released their new album, Sanctum Sanctorium, in November 2016, following a residency supported by Pro Helvetia Johannesburg. The album is a fusion of African and European music styles and was recorded in Bern, Switzerland. Motuba described the recording experience as “effortless and the music came together quite beautifully. All the musicians were really generous with regards to bringing the music to life”.

Sanctum Sanctorium, is a unique blend of African non-vocal singing, classical music and jazz. Speaking about the album with The Con Magazine, Mogorosi explained that the title of the album takes aim at Eurocentric notions, of how an individual gets divine inspiration. He says the perception that one individual is the catalyst of all this greatness ignores all the interactions the individual experienced prior to that point. “It’s important for me, not to be a singled out from here on forth, I want to co-create, I want to move beyond who it is and to what it’s saying,” Mogorosi says.
TumI Mogorosi – drums
Malcolm Braff – piano
Sebastian Schuster – bass
Gabi Motuba – vocals

Read more about Tumi Mogorosi