Durban jazz picks: December 15 2011

Historic Durban jazz den The Rainbow celebrates its 30th birthday this weekend.

? Historic Durban jazz den The Rainbow celebrates its 30th birthday this weekend with a trio of concerts culminating in an unprecedented blowout on Sunday. On December 16 from 1pm Shabalala Rhythm, whose musical DNA lies literally in the heart of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, will blow the crowds away with its high-energy maskanda. Entrance is R30 at the door. On December 17 from 4pm to 6pm the groove becomes decidedly more suave when jazz supremo the Neil Gonsalves Quartet is in action and, because it appears courtesy of Oude Meester, entrance is free. Then, the big one: on December 18 at 1pm the official birthday celebration kicks off with the 16-member ­Durban Gospel Choir under the direction of Karen van Pletsen and Clive Gumede, after which Rainbow ­veterans such as Pat Matshikiza, Winston Mankunku, Busi Mhlongo, Twasa, Ezra Ngcukana and many more are honoured by an all-star band comprising Steve Dyer (saxophone), Feya Faku (­trumpet and flugelhorn), Andile Yenana (piano), Lex Futshane (double and electric bass), Themba Mokoena (guitar), Ayanda Sikade (drums) and Xoliswa Dlamini (vocals). The doors open at noon and tickets cost R120. Advance booking or early arrival is definitely recommended.

Rainbow Restaurant, 22 Stanfield Avenue, Pinetown. Email: [email protected] Visit

? The Playhouse Theatre lays on a lavish one-night-only Tribute to the Jazz Greats, an event that features many of the most influential and iconic musicians South Africa has ever produced. Legend Hugh Masekela is in action with ­rapidly rising new jazz star Siphokazi. Both are supported by Durban ­stalwarts Theo Bhopela, Jerry Kunene and the entire KwaZulu-Natal ­Philharmonic Orchestra. The Playhouse Tap Dancers bring a lively element of ­movement to the afternoon’s ­entertainment.

Playhouse Opera Theatre, December 18 at 3pm. Tickets are R150 from Computicket. Tel: 031 369 9540.

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