Last show for jazz maestro

INTERNATIONALLY acclaimed jazz bassist Ernest "Shololo" Motlhe, has died.

Motlhe, who toured the world while in exile, died in his Mamelodi, Pretoria, home on Monday evening after a long struggle with diabetes.

"Bra Ernest", as he was popularly known, experienced complications on Sunday afternoon while at home.

According to family spokesperson and the deceased's younger brother, Judge Billy Motlhe (of the Pretoria high court), Motlhe was rushed to the Mamelodi Hospital where he died.

The Lady Selborne-born musician performed with top South African and international musicians. Among the local jazz music icons he performed with were Winston Mankunku Ngozi, Pat Matshikiza, and Abigail Kubeka.

He also performed with Early Mabuza's Big Five with Barney Rachabane. Internationally he played with greats such as Archie Shepp, Sonny Stitt and toured with blues singer Jimmy Witherspoon.

The jazz musician also appeared on television with Jonas Gwangwa at the Nelson Mandela's 70th Birthday concert at Wembley Stadium in London in 1988.

After his return from exile Motlhe worked as a bass instructor at the Mmabana Cultural Centre and also tutored at the Tshwane University of Technology's music department.

"Bra Ernest" will be buried at the Zandfontein Cemetery near Lady Selborne in Pretoria West on Saturday after a funeral service at his Block N, Mamelodi West home at 7am.

A memorial service will be held in his honour at the Pretoria State Theatre at 11am today.

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