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Under African Skies with Loyiso Bala, Zasha! and more

29 April 2023 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

Under African Skies

Saturday 29 April 20h00 | Artscape Operahouse | Suidoosterfees 2023

Performed by ZASHA! together with Loyiso Bala, Monde Msutwana, Nomfundo Xaluva, Shaun Johannes and Mzansi Zulu dancers. 

The supergroup, Zasha!, consisting of the former members of the Johnny Clegg band, and superstar Loyiso Bala and friends, will be performing, Under African Skies, a spectacular music production featuring popular South African hits, at the Artscape Opera House on 29 April as part of the Suidoosterfees Programme.

For over 20 years the group comprising of Mandisa Dlanga (vocals), Andy Innes (guitar), Barry Van Zyl (drums) and Dan Shout (sax/piano) toured the world playing with SA music icon Johnny Clegg. In this exhilarating concert they join forces with superstar Loyiso Bala and guest performers Nomfundo Xaluva and Monde Msutwana to perform some of the most uplifting and energetic South African songbook hits from their careers. Audiences can look forward to sing (and dance!) along to their favourite South African hits. The group will, in true Clegg-band style, also be accompanied on stage by Zulu Mzansi dancers.

They perform SA popular music songbook hits by well-known SA artists and give stellar performances, born from decades working on the road together.

The members of the band are excited about the Suidoosterfees performance. According to lead vocalist Loyiso Bala, he is eager to make his appearance alongside this amazing cast of musicians:  “We’ll be performing a set of South African classics that represent the soundtrack of our lives!” Loyiso is a multi-award- winning singer and best known for being a member of TKZee and the Bala Brothers music groups.

The band members have entertained crowds at some of the world’s most prestigious venues, including sold out shows at London’s Royal Albert Hall, Zenith and Grand Rex in Paris, Universal Amphitheatre Los Angeles, Central Park NYC, the opening night of the Montreal Jazz Fest, Piazza San Giovanni in Rome and a long list of other top international venues. They also backed world-renowned artists including Jackson Brown, Carlos Santana, Peter Gabriel and many more.

According to band leader and guitarist Andy Innes, the band all kept in touch post their careers with Johnny Clegg and have done some other shows together recently: “Over years of touring we became good friends as well as colleagues. Each time we had an opportunity to work together over the past few years, we really enjoyed it – it’s a natural fit for us. We decided to venture out with a new format to continue that working and personal relationship.”

Innes explains further: “The last show we did together was at a university event. Loyiso, Barry, Nomfundo and I all did our Masters degrees at Henley and we played a few songs at their alumni event last year together with Monde and the band. We realised then that this group of performers has great chemistry together. Loyiso is a superbly talented performer, as are Nomfundo and Monde. It just made sense to us to explore putting that ensemble on stage again and Suidoosterfees presented that opportunity.”

It will be the group’s first time performing together in Cape Town since they played Grand West in 2017. “It’s also great to be working with superb singers like Loyiso, Nomfundo and Monde. The last concert we did with this line-up brought the house down and this one is going to be really special. We are also excited to have well known Capetonian musicians like Shaun Johannes joining in”.

The group also features legendary Savuka backing singer Mandisa Dlanga, who has in her illustrious career also worked with Simply Red, Paul Simon, Jennifer Rush, Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela and Lucky Dube, to name a few.

Stalwart drummer, Barry van Zyl believes that if the show is anything like their recent shows in Johannesburg, ” the energy will be on fire!”.

Rising star Monde Msutwana thinks the 29th of April’s performance will be one for the books: “Some iconic songs by legendary South African artists will be performed for the audience… Catch me and my friends at Artscape Theatre and you’ll be thoroughly entertained!”

Bookings via Computicket. For more info see www.suidoosterfees.com.