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Top Durban talent on show tonight

Durban-born singer and songwriter Umaah has made her mark upon the South African music scene.

Durban-born singer and songwriter Umaah has made her mark upon the South African music scene.

Published Jan 8, 2022

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Top Durban talent is on display this evening, bringing African folk group Abahambayo, master guitarist Dane Francis and singer-songwriter Umaah together in concert at the KZNSA Gallery.

Abahambayo aims to preserve African folk music by fusing modern jazz and pop technique to appeal to almost everyone and those wanting to learn about the past and current history of the Zulu folk.

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Francis has his roots in KwaDukuza, north of Durban and is well-known as one of KwaZulu-Natal’s 1st Synth guitar players.

Coming from a musical family, Francis started playing at the age of 7.

“My mom taught me to play guitar and my dad is a drummer, my family is crazy about music,” he said.

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Francis said jazz was his favourite music because it is authentic and moved people’s souls.

“I have begun to understand music as a language, jazz has been a strong foundation.

“I love playing what the people like and am a multi-genre composer and vocalist

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“My favourite would be smooth jazz, contemporary pop, fusion and old school RnB, as well as some of the current trending hits,” said Francis.

The passionate, talented and skilled musician uses his love of music to play and teach all instruments. He is also a studio and sound engineer.

“Producing music fulfils me,” he said.

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He said one of his career highlights was to play and sing with musical group Dr Victor and the Rasta Rebels.

Durban-born singer and songwriter Umaah has made her mark upon the South African music scene.

Umaah said her music is influenced by emotive electronic music rooted in hip hop and neo-soul brazed with African-Caribbean music.

She said her love for music was instilled at home.

“I come from a very musically gifted family. I soon realised that music for me was a very sacred experience as it was my way of connecting to God. It moves me in a way like no other and I have never looked back,” said Umaah, describing music as the food for her soul.

“Being a performer has been a great journey to self discovery with its many ups and downs. I can say I have gained parts of my confidence through performance and the culture as a whole.

“The stage has allowed me to be vulnerable and open to being parts of myself in the best and worst of times,” she said.

She said one of her highlights was a performance she did as when she was still a part of a Durban-based band called Existing Consciousness.

“We performed at Smoking Dragon Music Festival on New Year’s Eve of 2017 and it was by far one of the most energy-filled performances, everything felt connected from the crowd to us as a band.

“It was a beautiful, life-giving experience and it solidified my place as a performer to myself and my peers,” she said.

The concert is a collaboration between iSupport Creative Business and KZNSA Gallery in Glenwood and supported by Concerts SA. KZNSA Gallery doors open at 6 pm, and tickets are available at Webtickets for R60.

The Independent on Saturday

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