Southern African musicians to showcase at ILMC in London

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This year’s edition will be run under the theme Brave New World. The diverse roster of artists spans across multiple genres including world, fusion, jazz, Afro-soul and folk, and will feature The One Who Sings, the solo creative incarnation of former Freshlyground lead singer Zolani Mahola, Zimbabwean mbira player Hope Masike, and Afro-fusion group Abavuki, which is well known for its energetic performances with marimbas and African percussion.

The musicians will be joined by pianist and vocalist Sibusiso ‘Mash’ Mashiloane, trumpeter, composer and bandleader Mandla Mlangeni, Afro-soul vocalist Thandeka Dladla, and The Lady Day Big Band featuring vocalist Lana Crowster and esteemed conductor Amanda Tiffin. Other artists on the line-up include 2019 Mzansi Jazz Awards Best Newcomer category winner The Unity Band, African mouth-bow player Mthwakazi, and Coco Zhao (China) who fuses jazz with traditional Chinese music.

The musicians are represented by South African booking and touring agency Arte Viva Management, which seeks to build touring circuits for its artists. Founded in 2016, the booking agency is headquartered in Cape Town with a satellite office in Amsterdam.

Prior to the lockdown, the company focused on inbound tours for international musicians and had already produced about 20 tours across southern Africa for artists such as Bokani Dyer (South Africa), Adrian Iaies (Argentina), Hildegard Lernt Fliegen (Switzerland), and Coco Zhao (China), among others.

“Southern African music is widely appreciated and enjoyed across the world, and we believe there is significant opportunity to increase international touring,” Arte Viva founder and managing director Nikki Froneman said.

“We are immensely proud of this new roster, and we are confident the time is right for expansion and introducing these artists to keen audiences in new territories.”

In 2020, the company was commissioned to produce and manage Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Jazz Orchestra’s tour to South Africa, alongside Grammy Award-winning musician Dianne Reeves, although it was postponed due to the pandemic. The agency’s team members boast a collective 60 years of experience among them, including tour production in territories such as Africa, Latin America and Europe.

Arte Viva’s presence at the ILMC is courtesy of the South African Department of Sports, Arts and Culture’s Mzansi Golden Economy programme.

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