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Umgidi Musical Movement Project

The Umgidi Musical Movement ensemble recently performed a music collective of the soon to be released studio work, with songs written and composed by 2018 SAMRO Indigenous African Music Award winner, Ndabo Zulu. The first movement of this music collective is aptly named ‘Umgidi’ which means celebration. In it, influences from the IsiXhosa, IsiZulu, IsiMpondo and other Nguni melodic inspirations will be experienced.

The ensemble is a dream collaboration of African music greats featuring SAMA award winners Mbuso Khoza, Nduduzo Makhathini, Shane Cooper as well as SAMRO winners Linda Sikhakhane and Ayanda Sikade. Also, in the ten-piece band is Senzo Ngcobo, founder of H3, Sphelelo Mazibuko founder of Africa Plus and Percussionists extraordinaires El hadji Ndong and Njabulo Shabalala.

Umgidi will be produced by US-based Grammy award winner Derrick Hodge and engineered by the maestro engineer Keith Lewis, who are coming into the country to work with Ndabo and the local musicians as part of their Residency commitment. Umgidi is a commemoration of the African and Nguni heritage sonically using live instrumentation, with the main intention behind the recording of the album being to return South African music back to its authentic, original and traditional form.

Umgidi Music Project Director and Trumpeter: Ndabo Zulu said, ‘I wanted to write a new songbook for my band and gather as much information as I can about the tradition of South African music. I quickly realised there were not a lot of records with big ensembles that feature conventional and non-conventional South African instruments. We are accustomed to Westerners composing a symphony that lasts a minimum of an hour with compositions that have no external influences or fusions from other cultures and still manage to garner a large audience. It is during this moment of revelation that I decided to write, compose and direct music that resonates with me and my heritage, which is truly South African in its purist form.

Umgidi is for my people and also to showcase our culture and heritage to the world.’The live show will took place at the Marabi Jazz Club in Maboneng on Friday, 7 September to give a taste of the recording to the audience in preparation for the release of the album later in the year. Fully supported and sponsored by Pacinamix; Manzini Zungu, Chief Executive Officer for Pacinamix explained why the PR, Communications, Activations and Digital business saw it fit to support the project; ‘Pacinamix is very proud to be the sole sponsor of this incredible musical movement initiative.

Umgidi illustrates the amazing talent that we possess in the country, talent that is recognized by international producers, especially for a traditional music genre. For me, as a music supporter and enthusiast it is even more encouraging that this is being spearheaded by a young person in Ndabo Zulu. It was a no-brainer to support the initiative and I look forward to the release of the recording and to see more collaborations of this kind in the future.’

Umgidi Music Project will not only work to preserve our heritage but will thrust the music revolution to new heights and inspire other musicians to look within their own heritage when composing their music, to keep it proudly South African.

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