Bassist, Composer and Arranger, Herbie Tsoaeli is the 2013 Best Jazz Album South African Music Award winner, for his debut album African Time. Better known as “uMalume” by most of his fans in the South African jazz scene, following his hit “Hamba No Malume” from the African Time album, Herbie’s music is a combination of different elements of South African music, and jazz.
He refers to his music as a spiritual experience and has coined the term “Jazz Moya” to describe it, which means Jazz influenced by spirits. Having played with South African Jazz greats such as Abdullah Ibrahim, Zim Ngqawana, Bheki Mseleku, Louis Moholo and Wynston Mankunku Ngozi, it came as no surprise that Herbie’s debut album, which was a culmination of over two decades of playing in the SA jazz scene, scooped the prestigious jazz SAMA in 2013.
Other projects that Herbie has been involved in include VOICE, Mbizo Quintet, New Notes, Zim Ngqawana’s Zimilogy Quartet, and more recently “The Sound Of You” project with Estelle Kokot, Chicco Freeman, Jan Pulsford and Kevin Gibson. Herbie also continues to play across South African with his African Time Quartet. Hugh Masekela on Herbie Tsoaeli: “Herbıe Tsoaelı ıs a hıghly skılled vırtuoso musıcıan, extremely complementary and supportıve accompanıst, a gıfted composer and generous ensemble player. More than all of these, Herbıe ıs a pure joy to be wıth because of hıs joyous personalıty, sunny dısposıtıon, ınfectıous laugh and frıendly accessıbılıty. I love Herbıe Tsoaelı lıke a brother I never had.” (http://www.londonjazznews.com/2014/03/herbie-tsoaelion-bbc-radio-3-late.html )