Vuma Levin and Benjamin Jephta launch their albums with an all-star ensemble featuring some of South African jazz’s finest musicians.
By CityLIfe Arts Writer
Join award-winning musicians and Wits Music lecturers Vuma Levin and Benjamin Jephta as they launch their new albums The Past Is Unpredictable, Only The Future is Certain and Born Coloured, Not Born Free at the Wits Chris Seabrooke Music Hall in Johannesburg on Friday, 28 July 2023, 19:30.
Exploring themes of history making, identity, race, power and being, both artists will, through music, interrogate, imagine, rehearse, and perform the post-apartheid South African subject. Joining them will be an all-star ensemble featuring some of South African jazz’s finest musicians: Bokani Dyer (piano), Jonno Sweetman (drums), Sisonke Xonti (saxophone) and Tlale Makhene (percussion).
As a Jazz composer, teacher, guitarist and touring musician, Levin’s music is an attempt to tease out and musically abstract upon the contradictions young, black South Africans find themselves in: they are both tied to the democratic national project and its related histories, power dynamics and identities, but the world is becoming increasingly transnational in character and broadening cultural debates around national belonging. In untangling these contradictions, Levin’s music aims to respond to the “single story” told about Africa and its people, and to articulate the South African cultural narrative in the 21st century. He is a lecturer in Wits Music in the School of Arts, Faculty of Humanities.
Bassist and composer Benjamin Jephta has made a name for himself as one of South Africa’s premier double and electric bass players. He has since performed with Danilo Perez, Terri-lyne Carrington, Jason Palmer and Dianne Reeves among others. He is currently based in Johannesburg, as a performer, film/TV composer and lecturer in Jazz and Film music in the School of Arts, Faculty of Humanities, Wits University.