The Blue Notes were a South African jazz sextet, whose definitive line up featured Chris McGregor on piano, Mongezi Feza on trumpet, Dudu Pukwana on alto saxophone, Nikele Moyake on tenor saxophone, Johnny Dyani on bass, and Louis Moholo on drums. After moving away from their home country in 1964, they established themselves on the European jazz circuit, where they continued to play and record through the 1970s. They are now considered one of the great free jazz bands of their era, whose music was given a unique flavour by their integration of African styles such as Kwela into the progressive jazz ideas of the time. . Unfortunately, because of the politics of the day, most of these great musicians lived and died outside of their own country.
The Tribute Orkestra endeavours to bring this music back to South African audiences, and to keep the traditions of the more free approach to South African Jazz alive. The Orkestra is made up of some of the most exciting and edgy musicians this country has to offer, and each of them brings something unique and fresh to the sound. One cannot help but be moved by the music of these past masters, which still sounds fresh and innovative almost 50 years later. This project should be considered as an important part of maintaining South Africa’s national cultural identity.