The legendary Madala Kunene is a guitarist, singer, songwriter, composer, and musical anthropologist whose native rhythms cross the musical lines between jazz and Zulu folk blues. Affectionately known as ‘Bafo’ – which means brother; his sound has become a staple diet on music stages across South Africa for well over five decades and his dexterity on the six string has earned him the title of “King Of The Zulu Guitar”.
His friend in music, Lerato Lichaba, is a self-taught guitarist, composer, arranger and founder of the prolific ensemble, Urban Village and non-profit creative hub, House of Kuumba. Lerato’s music style is inspired by his life experiences and how different cultures and traditions blend in the language of his music. It was only fitting that the two, who met through and worked together during the Forest Jam Groove Orchestra tour, have come to work together to continue crafting a new music language that will take listeners to a forgotten yet familiar place.
Phumelela Bengu hails from the valley of a thousand hills, KwaNgcolosi. She grew up playing Makhweyana and performs with her nieces Bongisiwe Nene and Nokusa Mweli. Playing uMakhweyana is about passing on the teachings of the family, including the importance of building a home and inevitable, the community and culture.