IT IS encouraging to see live jazz being played regularly at the South Africa State Theatre in Pretoria.

IT IS encouraging to see live jazz being played regularly at the South Africa State Theatre in Pretoria.

Since the Jazz and African Music Nights started in February at the South African State Theatre people from as far as North West and Mpumalanga have attended.

The May line-up includes Allou April, Sol, Tlale Makhene, Vhumunu, Nothembi Mkhwebane and Luz Legoka.

April has been playing jazz for more than 15 years . When he left his home town of Saldanha for Cape Town in the 1970s he was discovered by some of the city's top gospel bands. And so began his career as one of the most sought-after session musicians in Cape Town .

Singer, guitarist, composer, arranger, producer, band leader and performer Sol was born in Mamelodi, east of Pretoria.

Sol has worked with renowned musicians Louis Mhlanga, Concord Nkabinde, Vusi Mahlasela, Sello Montwedi, Kanya Cenza, Michael Phillips and Tshepo Monareng, to mention but a few.

Makhene is one of South Africa's most remarkable drummers . He is highly regarded by musicians and fans alike and He is also a much sought-after teacher, session musician and performer.

Born in Soweto, Makhene moved to Swaziland at an early age. He began drumming in church and led the drum majorettes at school.

He returned to Soweto in 1992 and began studying drumming full-time at the township's Funda Centre.

The band Vhumunu hails from Mamelodi and is part of the Vusi Mahlasela Music Foundation.

Mkhwebane is a music specialist, culture master and the founder of Nothembi and Son Music Arts and Crafts.

In 1980 she formed Nothembi Nezelamani Zakanomazinyana. Nothembi is her traditional name, Nezelamani her siblings and Zakanomazinyana her clan name. They started off their careers by playing atcultural gatherings and weddings.

Born in Pretoria, Mkhwebane has lived in six countries in Africa and her music is influenced by all these countries.

Legoka was a finalist in the Kaya FM Joy of Jazz Competition in 2004 and has featured on several albums.