McCoy Mrubata kicks off his Cape Town June 2022 tour in the wake of the release of his The Strings Attached Project. KEANETSE MOKHOTHU finds out more.

What’s central to your shared musical experience?

My ability to work and interact with musicians from all over the world and simultaneously have the capacity to communicate and share ideas despite major factors such as language barriers.

What quality do you look for in your musical collaborators?

I do not look for any special qualities, as long as one is willing to learn with me, as I too am a life and music student. Music is about sharing life ideas. I have worked with many musicians who were very raw musically. By the time they move on to work with others, they are ready to lead their own bands and work with other great musicians.

Are you just streaming intuitively – how do you approach everything?

I stream where there is a need. Being conscious of cameras, capturing your performance in real time sometimes takes something away from it. Music comes to me every day. I record the melodies that come to me on my cell phone then work on them at a later stage. Once this is done, I will share them with my producer to fine tune them. However, steps may vary, for example, music scoring or teaching the rest of the band members by ear. My last four albums involved a lot of musicians. I made sure that the music is scored in such a way that all members involved can read and perform it in case the designated artist is unavailable. This saves a lot of rehearsal time as well.

In your solos do you feel you are entering uncharted territory?

I do not think much when soloing. I pretty much go with the flow. I do not utilize any special approach. I think the trick is for one to keep working on their respective music instrument, practice, practice, practice! That is why I encourage my students to use other approaches they may get from other teachers or older musicians.

Do you think you have limitations?

Yes, I have limitations. A lot of times, I do not do my own music arrangements because I am not good at it. I sometimes source help from other composers when writing songs, hence all Paul Hanmer, Luyanda Madope, Greg Georgiades and Hlubi Kwebulana are my regular co-composers. Hlubi for instance helps me with the lyrics.

How are you expanding on your current album, The Strings Attached Project, First Green – is there for example going to be a follow-up?

I doubt there will be a “Second Green”, but the project will have follow-up albums.

Do you listen to other South African jazz saxophonists?

Yes, I do.

McCoy Mrubata Cape Town Tour Dates:

Athletic Club & Social
Thursday, 2 June 2022 from 9pm
35 Buitengracht Street, Cape Town
Tickets Quicket

Alliance Française du Cap
Friday, 3 June 2022 from 7pm
155 Loop Street, Cape Town
Whatsapp Bookings Koko Nkalashe 083 441 4760

Selective Live
Saturday 4 June 2022 from 8pm
189 Buitengracht Street, Cape Town
Tickets Quicket

Kwa Sec
Sunday, 5 June 2022 from 3pm
R120 – Students & Pensioners R80
Intshinga Street No. 52 Gugulethu
Bookings Whatsapp Koko Nkalashe 083 441 4760

McCoy’s albums include: Firebird, Phosa ngasemva, Tears of joy, Hoelykit?, Face the Music, Icamagu  livumile, Kulturation, The Brasskap Sessions Vol. 1, The Brasskap Sessions Vol. 2, The Brasskap Sessions Vol. 3, The Greatest Moments of McCoy Mrubata, McCoy Mrubata live at The Bird’s Eye, McCoy Mrubata Live at The Market Theatre, Quiet please, and The Strings Attached Project.

Who: Saxophonist McCoy Mrubata
What: Cape Town Tour
Social media: Facebook @McCoy Mrubata and McCoy Mrubata artist page, Instagram @McCoy Mrubata, Youtube @McCoy Mrubata, Twitter @Brasskap