The Orbit celebrates its fourth birthday with The 4th Movement festival, a week-long showcase of South Africa’s jazz scene. Despite its young age, The Orbit has quickly established itself as one of South Africa's leading jazz clubs with many of the biggest names in South African jazz referring to The Orbit's intimate stage as a 'home away from home'.
A club that aims to celebrate and honour the jazz masters while also offering up space on stage for young new talent to grow, the line-up for the 4th Movement festival features exciting young names such as pianist Luyanda Mayope as well as major icons like Sibongile Khumalo and Feya Faku.
The line-up for The 4th Movement festival runs as follows:
Tue Mar 13 at 20:00 The Blue Notes Tribute Orkestra
Kicking off the birthday week the Blue Notes Tribute Orkestra present a celebration of South Africa's immense jazz history, and in particular the iconic 1960s jazz group The Blue Notes. The Blue Notes Tribute Orkestra originally came together for a once-off event hosted in Cape Town, but as the musicians began to rehearse together and delve deeper into the Blue Notes back catalogue they agreed that this needed to be a more permanent project. While their music pays tribute to the past, the band members are all very much at the forefront of contemporary jazz and include Andile Yenana (piano), Marcus Wyatt (trumpet) and Sisonke Xonti (alto sax).
Wed Mar 14 at 20:00 Trio Grande - Paul Hanmer, Feya Faku, Louis Mhlanga
Thu Mar 15 at 20:30 Tlale Makhene’s Swazi Gold
Soweto-born and Swaziland-raised percussionist Tlale Makhene is regarded as one of the best percussionists in Southern Africa. For this performance Makhene promises to bring a distinctly African set to the stage, revisiting his debut album Swazi Gold in which he explored the spiritual and ancestral stories of his Swazi roots. Makhene is joined by a six piece band which includes brass, strings and keys.
Fri Mar 16 at 20:00 Mantswe a Marabi
Put on your dancing shoes for this performance by Steve Dyer's seven piece band that celebrates the feel-good South African marabi sound - an energetic, catchy and highly danceable sound that has its roots in the township shebeens of the early 20th Century and was influenced by American jazz, ragtime and blues. Perfect Friday night fun.
Fri Mar 16 at 21:45 Sibongile Khumalo
The second performance on Friday night is led by Soweto-born jazz diva Sibongile Khumalo. Over the decades Khumalo has established herself as one of South Africa's most iconic jazz vocalists and her many performances at The Orbit have always been especially cherished occasions for local fans. In this gig Khumalo pays tribute to late jazz icons and personal friends Hugh Masekela, Sophie Mgcina and Allen Kwela.
Sat Mar 17 at 20:30 Connecting Generations
Led by the multi-talented producer and pianist Luyanda Madope, Connecting Generations is a progressive and energetic seven-piece band that rearranges new and old works by iconic musicians such as Feya Faku, alternative funk-soul singer Thandiswa Mazwai and award-winning saxophonist McCoy Mrubata to showcase 'South African heritage with a twist!'. For this special performance the six-piece band is joined by guest vocalists Titi Luzipo and Kevin Maduna.
Sat Mar 17 at 21:45 VOICE
While every performance taking place during The Orbit's birthday week is something special, this performance promises to be one of the festival's major highlights. For the first time in nine years, the award-winning quintet VOICE are performing together again. Members include award-winning jazz bassist Herbie Tsoaeli (whose signature 'iSandi' sound finds its roots in South African township backyards with lyrics that echo quintessential South African experiences), legendary jazz teacher and pianist Andile Yenana and trumpeter Marcus Wyatt.
Sun Mar 18 at 17:00 The Orbit Birthday Jam
Closing off the celebrations, The Orbit presents a free jam session led by award-winning pianist and producer Luyanda Madope. A great opportunity for budding young musicians and poets to perform in front of a live audience and jam alongside seasoned professionals.