Though the band came together through the National Youth Jazz Band the members have always admired each other as young upcoming jazz artists and getting the opportunity to come together created a relationship of music and friendship. As the National Band, they headlined the Grahamstown National Arts Festival and the Joy of Jazz performing original music.
Based in Durban, Dalisu Ndlazi began his music career at the Siyakhula Community Music Centre founded by Dr Brain Thusi. In high school his music teacher handed him a bass and bass book which is evident by his strong sense of confidence in music. He has been part of the National Band for 3 consecutive years. He is enrolled at the University of KwaZulu Natal where he received an opportunity to be part of the exchange programme between the VCU Jazz Institute and UKZN. He has recorded and performed with international artists and is well known for his strong, swinging groovy bass lines.
Tsiamo is a drummer, composer and band leader born in Bloomfontein now based in Pretoria. Having his father as an influence, Tsiamo got exposed to drummers such as Steve Gaad that have inspired his playing. He has gone to obtain a National Diploma in Jazz and popular music from the Tshwane University of Technology and has a band called Righteous Rebels that explores electronic and digital music.
Nick Pitman is a Durban based guitarist currently enrolled for a BMus Degree at the University of KwaZulu Natal where he received a SAMRO Scholarship. His passion has become his profession having been playing for 10 years gaining exposure to genres such as rock, blues and now jazz. He has performed at festivals such as the Grahamstown National Arts Festival and the Oslo Jazz Festival in Norway in 2016. He performs with admired jazz musicians such as Brian Thusi, Sibusiso Mashiloane, Neil Gonslaves, Prof Salim Washington. He teaches guitar at local music schools and private lessons.
Durban based pianist Zibusiso Makhathini is a composer, performer, producer and teacher. He has completed his BA degree from the University of KwaZulu Natal where he was a recepient of the SAMRO Music Bursary. Heavily influenced by the great late Bheki Mseleku, his music is a blend of complex rhythms and melodies with the aim to explore East African sounds and spirituality. In 2016 he was part of the UKZN Ensemble that performed at the Oslo Jazz Festival in Norway.
Born in Tembisa, Thami was first introduced to music in church where he started playing the trumpet. Through the Moses Taiwa Art Foundation, at the age of 14 he discovered his talent in music and has since then devoted his life to career in music. He has shared the stage with industry greats such as Hugh Masikela, Feya faku, Mckoy Mrubata, Sidney Mnisi, Zim Ngqawana, Carlo Mombelli to name a few. He has made the selection for the National Youth Jazz Band for 3 consecutive years. He is enrolled as a music student at the Tshwane University of Technology and performs and records as a session musician and with his Quintet he founded in 2016.
Daniel Van der Walt
At age 14 Daniel fell in love with jazz music at his primary school where he was playing trumpet. This led him to participate in the Grahamstown Arts Festival for 4 years whilst a member of his high school band “The Gig Band”. He is enrolled at the University of Cape Town where he receives vocal training from Monique Hellenberg and Amanda Tiffin. 2015 Daniel was part of the UCT Jazz Voices which participated and won first place at the Stellenbosch Ensemble Competition. He is the band leader of Van Der Walt Quartet which performs classic rock, pop and jazz.
Born and based in Cape Town, Muneeb’s musical journey began at the Cape Minstrel Fratenity. His exposure to the Grahamstown National Arts Festival began when he was selected for the National Schools Festival in 2012. 2014 he was selected to be part of the Tribute Big band which featured top South African, European and American musicians. he has toured to countries such as France, Seychelles, China, UK and has performed at one of the most prestigious music venues in the world, the Carnegie Hall. He is a conductor and manages the Little Giants Big Band and teaches trumpet at the Institute of Indigenous Music and Arts Development.
Nine years ago, Godfrey Mntambo began his music career with great interest and passion to classic and jazz music. To develop his sound, he began performing with garage and gospel bands. Over the years he has developed his own sound which is a reflection of the many eclectic South African sounds which influence him. He has made the selection for the National Youth Jazz band selection for two consecutive years and has performed with his own ensembles at both the Grahamstown Arts Festival and Joy of Jazz. He has shared the stage with respected musicians such as Herbie Tsoaeli, Afrika Mkhize, Barney Rachabane and Lira.