Saxophonist Sisonke Xonti will play at Kwa Sec for Youth Day, alongside a quartet of top local musicians. The band comprises Kyle Shepherd (piano), Shane Cooper (bass), Jono Sweetman (drums) and Sabu Jiyane (percussion).

Sisonke Xonti at Kwa Sec for Youth Day

This concert is supported by Concerts SA through its Venue Circuit project and presented by the Jazz in the Native Yards. As part of the programme, Xonti will pay homage to Zim Ngqawana, legendary South African reed (and flute) man.

Xonti started playing music at ten but it was only when he turned thirteen that he fell in love with the saxophone. He continued playing classical saxophone until he got his UNISA Grade 8 Distinction in 2006. His introduction to jazz came in 2004 when he joined the Cape Town based Little Giants band, led by Geoge Werner and the late Ezra Ngcukana.

Festivals and famous musicians

That same year, he was selected to be a part of the School’s Big Band Festival at the Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Festival in Makhanda. In 2007 he was also selected for the National Youth Band for the first time under the leadership of Andrew Lilley. He has since played with an array of highly acclaimed musicians including Jimmy Dludlu, Victor Ntoni, Hugh Masekela, Herbie Tsoaeli, Lira, Salif Keita, Abdullah Ibrahim and many more.

He has performed at various festivals including the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, The Standard Bank Joy of Jazz Festival and the Calabar Jazz Festival in Nigeria as well as the Bushfire Festival in Swaziland.

In 2017 he released his debut album titled Iyonde and is currently working on new music to be released at the end of this year.

What: Sisonke Xonti plays Youth Day

Where and when: Kwa Sec, Ny 138 no.52, Gugulethu on Sunday 16 June 2019 from 3pm

Tickets: R100/R70 pensioners and students at the door