Siya Makuzeni is a professional South African trombone player, vocalist, lyricist and songwriter regularly collaborating with A-list South African musicians such as Marcus Wyatt, Themba Mkhize, McCoy Mrubata, Feya Faku,Frank Opperman, Tlale Makhene,Khaya Mahlangu,Sibongile Khumalo, and many more. She is also the bandleader of her own rock band, Ippyfuze. Makuzeni picked up the trombone in 1997 while attending Stirling High School in East London and studied BMus/BMusJazz at Rhodes University & the Pretoria Technikon Music School. She has since toured and performed around the globe, most notably in Italy where she contributed as co-composer and lyric interpretor to the soundtrack of Forse Dio e Malato (Maybe God is ill).
A session musician and voice-over artist when not performing live, Makuzeni has lent her songwriting skills to a few albums by various artists , including Language 12 albums “Language 12” and “Maji Maji – in the land of Milk & Honey” , Grassroots’s Mpemba Effect’s “Ambient Afrique” and Rudeboy Paul’s “Azanian Pulse Vol.2 ” ; as well as vocal features in Tlale Makhene’s “The Ascension of Enlightenment” , Afrotraction’s “Soulfully Yours”, Jack Hammer’s the Pilgrim and Frank Opperman’s “Let’s Be Frank”. Her live collaborations include performances with William Kentridge and Phillip Miller in Dancing with Dada – featuring Dada Masilo (2011), Mac McKenzie & The Goema Captains, Teba , Tumi Molekane , Netsayi (London), Themba Mkhize & SWR Big Band (Germany) to name a few.
Throughout high school Siya attended the National Youth Jazz Festival, an annual program aimed at allowing the country’s Jazz students to participate and audition for the festival’s topmost band selections: the National School’s Big Band, National Youth Big Band, and ultimately the National Youth Jazz Band. Siya was consecutively selected for all three categories and also recorded with the National Youth Jazz Band in 2001.
She also featured in Zim Ngqawana’s Big Band tour to East London (1999), as well as playing for the East Cape Big Band for a few years.
After Siya’s matriculation she went to study a BMus degree at Rhodes University, where she also took up Drama and Physical Theatre. A year later, she decided to transfer to a more specialised study field and enrolled at the Pretoria Technikon Music School, studying a BMusJazz degree. It was at this time that she also began applying for Jazz competitions, her most accomplished being the Old Mutual Jazz Encounters, where she secured the Regional Finalist (Gauteng) category for Jazz Vocals in 2002.In 2005, Siya then attended a scholarship in Treviso (Venice), Italy, at the multi-media / creative arts base, Fabrica(Benetton); where she took part in a multi-media theatre concert which took place in Brisbane, Australia, in 2006.Whilst in Italy, Siya was invited by the African,Latin and Asian Film Awards Festival to perform at the premiere of the festival. She was also involved in the Bologna Human Rights Film Festival, where there was a dedicated stage for South African performers. When she completed her scholarship in 2006, Siya was invited to Switzerland where she met and performed with Cape Town’s The Goema Captains, as well as Feya Faku, who was an Artist in Residence at the University of Basel Music department. She therefore was also involved in workshops; which covered everything from Jazz to Indigenous African Music.
Siya’s body of work is a diverse, expressive and constantly growing accumulation of her myriad of service in the music industry.