Siya Makuzeni


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Siya Makuzeni is a professional South African musician, regularly collaborating with A-list
South African musicians such as Marcus Wyatt, Zim Ngqawana, 340ml, Simphiwe Dana,
Tlale Makhene, Themba Mkhize, Greg Georgiades, McCoy Mrubata and Feya Faku, she is
also the lead vocalist and trombonist of her own eclectic rock group, Ippyfuz. Makuzeni
picked up the trombone in 1997 while attending Stirling High School in East London and
studied BMus/BMusJazz at Rhodes University & the Pretoria Technikon Music School. She
has since toured and performed around the globe, most notably in Italy where she
contributed as co-composer and lyric interpretor to the soundtrack of Forse Dio e Malato
(Maybe God is Ill, directed by Franco Brogi Taviani) with the Oscar-winning company
CAM Scores(The Postman).A session musician and voice-over artist when not performing
live, Makuzeni has lent her songwriting skills to a recent album by Marcus Wyatt, African
Cream's Mpemba Effect, Rudeboy Paul's Azanian Pulse Second Offering,and has featured
on the SWR Big Band(German Radio) collaboration with Themba Mkhize. Other live
performance collaborations include The Goema Captains, Thandiswa Mazwai, Teba, Tumi,
Closet Snare, Netsayi (London), Baboti, Bheki Khoza, to name a few. She has also performed
for 9 years with the Carlo Mombelli- led Prisoners of Strange.

With Ippyfuze Siya has focused her talents on creating a diverse yet unique blend of styles;from rock grooves, chanty Afro-fied vocal loops, to beautiful trombone treatment that lends to rather jazz/soul -like nuances. This is Siya Makuzeni's representation of her overall songwriting,producing and performing skills as an solo- based artist.

  • Siya Makuzeni - Silverloops Music

    Phone: 27110835919
    72 Nellie Road, NorwoodJohannesburg, Gauteng 2117 South Africa
  • SWR Big Band & Themba Mkhize- Shosholoza

    SWR Big Band is simply one of the best big bands in the world: three recent Grammy nomninations - 2002, 2003 and 2004 - underline their international reputation. For 2010 they are nominated for a Grammy again - catergory "best large jazz ensemble album". In it´s more than fifty years musical history SWR Big Band worked with musical guests like Miles Davis, Chick Corea, Chat Baker, Slide Hampton and many others. Most recent guests have been Paula Morelenbaum, Patti Austin. Toshiko Akiyosh and Sammy Nestico. Their latest project "Shosholoza" now brougth them together with Themba Mkhize - one of South Africas most profiled composers and musicians. TV is working on a 45 minute "making off" documentation of this unique project, which will be on the screens in Eurpe before the world cup 2010. "Shosholoza" is a programme full of South Africas most beautiful songs - and some totally unknown (but beautiful) music. The big band will travel to South Africa to present their new programme there. If you as a promoter are looking for something really special and big ... this should be your choice. Special guests Themba Mkhize - musical director & vocals, piano Siya Makuzeni & Hlulani Hlangwane - lead vocalsPublication: - SWR Big BandDate:
  • Siya Makuzeni: The New Voice In Jazz

    “I’m in a zone I guess. I don’t think about it. I try to basically live the moment you know because when you think too much about what you are doing, you sort of put expectations out there for yourself and you shouldn’t. So I’m in a happy state when I’m performing because it is a place where I can express myself freely – absolutely freely.” These are the words of 24-year-old vocalist and trombonist, Siya Makuzeni, who is fast becoming a force to be reckoned with on Mzansi’s jazz scene. Her quirky vocals and the ‘strange’ voices she makes stand out amongst the average conventional vocals we hear in jazz. She draws her influences from Brazilian and Scandinavian vocalists and eccentric vocalists like Flora Podem and Ursula Dosiak – very strange women in the music industry who also have that stamp of originality. “I wanted to find something in what they were doing to try and re-define myself and now I have those kinds of pallets of music which I can draw on whenever and however,” she elaborates. Siya describes herself as a very inquisitive and experimental individual who knows no boundaries. “Even with my instrument, with my trombone, I’ve tried to break-out of my comfort zone,” she says. “I go out there and look for people who are doing something which is not normal. I would say to a certain extent it’s not me purely copying what they’re doing, but it’s me taking essences of what they were doing and just expressing it in my own way.” The ‘strange’ voices and the shrieks started as an experimental thing and eventually became part of something she does all the time. For a person with such a strong and immense vocal gene-pool, you would think that she’s been singing since birth. But in fact playing the trombone was her first love and she kind of stumbled onto vocals. She started playing the recorder as part of extra-mural activities in primary school, took up trombone in high school and was also in the choir. “For me it’s very weird because my voice is like the second instrument that has over the years kind of taken over,” elaborates Siya. “What happens now is that people look for me specifically for vocals, but I still get some people who want me to play trombone.” Music touches her soul she says. “It’s a place where I can express myself and hopefully spread a message or something that other people can catch ‘cause obviously when you’re on stage it’s not just about you, it’s about how you portray the message and whatever it is you’re singing to the audience because there has to be a connection between that too.” Born in Mdantsane, East London, Siya has always had an affinity to music. She grew up listening to jazz and everything her father was listening to, memorising lyrics of her favourite musicians and miming their songs. After high school, she studied towards a B.A. in Music and Drama at Rhodes University where she met Carlo Mombelli of The Prisoners of Strange during an audition at Standard National Youth Jazz festival in 2001. Carlo approached her after the auditions, took down her number, but nothing happened until she moved to Joburg in 2003. He called her up for an audition and offered her a place in the band. She’s been with the band since then. Her music is an amalgamation of rock, dub, reggae, jazz, and funk, hip-hop and drum ‘n bass. “My music just kind of moves on its own, it mutates as it goes along and I quite like that,” explains Siya. “I quite like not really being able to box myself into anything else because it allows people to make their own opinion of what they think I’m doing.”Publication: YmagDate:
  • Thandiswa's soul SOS

    ANDILE NDLOVU | 03 August, 2012 00:17 Thandiswa Mazwai will now look to Cape Town and Durban for members of the all-female band she wants to form after an underwhelming number of hopefuls turned up for what was to be a one-city call. Mazwai announced open-call auditions for Johannesburg last month, which began on Wednesday. Yesterday was set aside for those who received call-backs from the first day. Though she found promising talent, she was not content. She said last month that there was a dearth of female instrumentalists and wanted to empower them by forming the band. She said the size of the band would be determined by the talent pool she found. She employed Ayanda Sikade and Nduduzo Makhathini, who have both toured and played with her, and trombonist and vocalist Siya Makuzeni, as her judging panel for the opening day. The hopefuls had to show that they had mastered any three of the singer's songs and one of their own. Mazwai first had open-call auditions six years ago, when she released her debut solo album, Zabalaza. "What I was working on was to create a database of women players and have it online so it's available to Ringo [Madlingozi], to Lira and to anyone who has a big band that has constant work. "We want to create work for female players because when I go to festivals all I see are male players." The 36-year-old said there was a "standard" in the industry that presupposed that women could only be vocalists. So passionate about the idea was Mazwai that, during a recent trip to the US to play at the Pan Jazz 2012 festival at Lincoln Centre, in New York, she agreed with a college to fund talented hopefuls for short courses. Pretoria's Thandi Ntuli, 24, tried out on the piano yesterday: "[Mazwai] is my idol. I saw her live for the first time two years ago in Cape Town and said then that I wanted to work with her." "The problem was that Nduduzo Makhathini was playing for her that day, and he's a brilliant pianist. So it looked like a huge mountain to climb, but here I am." One person who stood out was 30-year-old guitarist Tessa Lily, of Joburg rock band Cortina Whiplash, who said "whiteness" and lack of rhythm nearly cost her dearly on the opening day, but Thandiswa was keen after she played Vana Vevhu, Heathen (a Bob Marley song that she performs in her live concert DVD Dance of the Forgotten Free, and African Sun, a Miriam Makeba cover that Mazwai also performs.Publication: Times LiveDate:
  • The Sibikwe Arts Indigenous Orchestra in Celebration

    Heritage.I am acutely uncomfortable with the subject of “heritage” in South Africa. There is a sense in which many South Africans, of which I am one, are not sure just what belongs in the “heritage” box. We are who we are and have few clear lines to trace back to a particular ethnic group, language or place. We are generic South Africans. That is, I suppose, our heritage. This is important to mention as a presupposition when dealing with a concept like the “African Indigenous Orchestra” which is really something that is simply generically African, without too many clear lines back to something which existed in a pure form at any one place.African Music Instruments.The Sibekwa Africa Indigenous Orchestra play a variety of instruments from various parts of Africa, not only from Southern Africa and then they mix these with western instruments. The music they play would perhaps have frightened a group of 18th century herdsmen in their rural reaches. It certainly owes more to Motown’s influence than Princess Magogo’s efforts to save traditional Nguni music. This is not a criticism, just a reflection on the “generic South African” thing. It is, as the press release says, “a unique blend of sounds and rhythms reminiscent of the old and new South African music scene.”The show itself had absolutely no didactic element whatsoever. I had expected one and it never materialised. I have been privileged, over the years, to attend shows where the kudu horns, dinaka pipes, kalimbas, uhadis and makubes have been demonstrated and played. Here they were just played and if one has the background one knows which instrument is which and if one does not have the background one can just settle in to enjoy the sound.The sound is enjoyable indeed. Afro-pop, Latin American jazz, polyrhythms and traditional jazz all fuse to make a joyful noise. The orchestra has travelled widely, both internationally and in South Africa and they have now released their first CD, Celebration, which is as much fun as the show was. Tlale Makhene leads the orchestra in a variety of bright, cheerful, upbeat numbers which includes one of South Africa’s best known pieces of music, Meadowlands. It is easy and pleasant listening.The musicians are Tlale Makene, Siya Makuzeni, Esther Maumela, Thokozani Nsibande, Lucky Tshimbudzi, Lydia Mokhele, Bebe Shongwe, Percy Mbonani, Siya Makuzeni, Siyabulela Sifatyi, Thandi Dube, and Mokhalinyana Mokhere.Publication: Art CommentsDate:

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