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27-year-old gives jazz a modern twist

By Bongiwe Sithole | Feb 21, 2014 | COMMENTS [ 19 ]

Jazz is recognized as a mature taste for the oldies, but not for this young instrumentalist.

Mpumi Dhlamini, an all rounder talented multi-instrumentalist has an interesting trick up his sleeve as he introduces a new experience for jazz lovers to his second album titled 'The Cultural Express' soon to hit the shelves of music stores.

Very different to a studio created album, Dhlamini takes you on his musical journey with a concept of listening to a radio show from inside a train featuring Azania Mosaka as the radio host.

“It’s a full-on radio station produced album. I came up with a concept where I used Azania in studio as a host of The Cultural Express to give it a radio show feel from inside a train,” he says.

The 27 year old chats about urban jazz fused with hip-hop, bebeop up-tempo and neo soul.

“My new album is a way of me defining the different genres of the album.

With this not being his first album, he says whilst compiling the tracks and being hands on the second time around, had helped discover who he is in music.

“It’s very different to my first album 'Combined Elements' because on this one I found myself and the kind of music I want.

“I am trying to commercialize jazz, to reach a young market. Often people think Jazz is for the oldies but music has no age, it can be made to fit all markets,” Dhlamini says.

We often hear about musicians taking months and years to put together an album, however Dhlamini’s album dropping next month took an impressive one month to compile.

“It took only a month to work on this album. I don’t sit with music because you end up diluting the songs and changing its original sound.”

Inspired by musicians such as Shaloza Max, he also tried to introduce Maskanda music into jazz.

Other artists that impacted Dhlamini’s music career include Kirk William.

His career line dates back to days when he teamed up with Lira as a band and producing albums for the likes of Zama Jobe as well as collaborated with Proverb.

His first album got him a South African Music Awards nomination for ‘Best Newcomer’ and Metro FM Awards nomination for ‘Best Jazz Album’.


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Interesting sounding young man. All strength to you. It's all in the attitude!

Feb 21, 2014 10:4 | 6 replies
Feb 21, 2014 11:14 | 0 replies


WTF!!! What's to be ashamed of in commending an interesting musician? What's your problem?

Feb 21, 2014 11:26 | 0 replies


and again i say...shame on u

Feb 21, 2014 11:43 | 0 replies


LOL haai..Mokwepa o mpolaelang tje tjo. You are a good man RobinX dont mind this lad..

Feb 21, 2014 12:21 | 0 replies


Mokwepa ! Mokwepa ! behave tu ! hahahaaaaa wheres your brother votsek?

Feb 21, 2014 12:27 | 0 replies


Bohlale: Thanks. He's just an obsessed gadfly.

Feb 21, 2014 12:34 | 0 replies



Feb 21, 2014 12:8 | 0 replies


I see only chauvinistic in this article. Can you guys engage without fighting?

Feb 21, 2014 12:26 | 1 replies


"chauvinistic"???? I think you may need to consult a dictionary.

Feb 21, 2014 12:33 | 0 replies


@RobinX What the h.ell does RobinX know about African Jazz. Geez this madala is so irritating!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Feb 21, 2014 12:37 | 1 replies


Probably about as much as you. Have been listening to Malombo etc since I was in junior school. Stick your racist crap in the hole it deserves.

Feb 21, 2014 1:26 | 0 replies


Highly Inspirational

Feb 21, 2014 1:41 | 0 replies


Hiphop wont work if you are trying to attract the young it's a tried fomuler and it never worked, the Americans tried it, try mixing native intruments or make an orchastra of native instruments but instired of producing traditional rhythm try to produce morden rhythms out of native instruments.

Feb 21, 2014 1:44 | 4 replies


May I suggest you try and listen to the work done by Robbie Robertson and the Red River Ensemble - a group of "native american" musicians from the Red River Reservation. It is really very beautiful.

Feb 21, 2014 2:0 | 0 replies


RobinX, I do that, I love artist who think outside the box, so far SA artist are shy to experiment with our native intruments, I would love one day to see a hiphop act that uses only native instruments or an orchastra made of native instruments, now that I'll support, it's sad to see this young cats trying failed fomulers and ending up no were.

Feb 21, 2014 2:5 | 0 replies


OK. On the SA Front. Pay attention to the Kalahari Surfers, with his use of indigenous chants etc in constructing what some may call "trance music". Listen to the album Muti Media.

Feb 21, 2014 2:12 | 0 replies


Now THIS is hopw we should be interacting here. In work such as this a new "common" culture slowly comes into being, which becomes so much richer than the individual elements that constitute it. Culture should be evolutionary anyway. Life isn't static and todays world changes by the second. One MUST adapt to living with all those around one, or the nation is doomed, and all the cultures with it.

Feb 21, 2014 2:15 | 0 replies


I would love to listen on this young man's sound honestly, it sounds interesting.

Feb 24, 2014 7:27 | 0 replies