Amandla Freedom Ensemble live at the Orbit with special guest Andile Yenana

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If you’re into your jazz it’s going to be well worth checking out The Orbit Jazz Club and Bistro (no 81 de Korte Str Braamfontein ) as multiple award-winning pianist, composer and jazz scholar, Andile Yenana, whose projects and collaborations have taken him far beyond the scope of the conventional jazz group joins the Amandla Freedom Ensemble a formidable quintet comprising of some of Johannesburg’s finest young musicians.

As an integral part of the late Zim Nqgawana’s musical endeavours, Bra Andile (as many fondly know him) is a rare breed of musician in South Africa. Andile has through the years nurtured and introduced many young players to the canon of South African jazz heritage. Andile Yenana works with anyone interesting who approaches him. “It helps broaden my scope,” he adds. Such is the case with the Amandla Freedom Ensemble a young newly established Johannesburg band spearheaded by Mandla Mlangeni. Collaborations of this nature are key to the process of reinvigorating the South African jazz offering.

Andile Yenana:

Yenana was Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year of 2005. In the same year he played at the Grahamstown Arts Festiva, presenting music from his first solo Album We Used To Dance, then returned in 2010 as part of the Standard Bank All Stars. In that same year at Grahamstown Arts Festival, he collaborated with Dr. Saliem Washington. Andile Yenana is an award winning producer who was the recipient of the SAMA for Best Produced Traditional Jazz Album in 2004 for the late Winston Mankunku’s album *Abantwana be Afrika*

Andile Yenana has played at the annual International Cape Town Jazz Festival in 2003, then in 2004 with Zim Ngqawana. Andile has toured with, recorded with and performed with many South African Jazz musicians including Hugh Masekela, Sibongile Khumalo, Gloria Bosman, Feya Faku, Bheki Khoza, Andy Narell, Terence Blanchard, Louis Mhlanga, Steve Dyer, Mulato Astatke, Simphiwe Dana, Nokukhanya and Abdullah Ibrahim .

“The most memorable moment in my career is the acknowledgment given to me by Abdullah Ibrahim while doing the Tribute concert of Abdullah concert.” Andile continues to perform with his band and works with International, National and other fellow African Jazz Musicians Andile Yeyana- Rwanda

Mandla Mlangeni

Raised in Soweto, Johannesburg Mandla Mlangeni is a young vibrant graduate of music composition from the University of Cape Town. Currently writing and performing his music with his various bands, The Tune and Recreation Committee (TRC), brass band the Native Groove Collective (NGC)and the newly established Amandla Freedom Ensemble based in Johannesburg . Besides being a bandleader and composer Mandla performs regularly as a freelance musician in various capacities.

As well as leading the TRC he has been active in numerous other projects in Norway, Sweden, Germany, Israel, Britain and Botswana where I performed a wide variety of music ranging from Classical, Jazz, Pop, Balkan and Indigenous African Music. He has performed with many celebrated musicians including Barney Rachabane,Marcus Wyatt, John Davies, Hugh Masekela, Sipho Hotstix Mabuse, Susana Baca (Peru), Mark Fransman, Louis Moholo , Dizu Plaatjies, Khaya Mahlangu just to name a few.

Mandla is the founder and curator of a concert series in Cape Town called the Afrikan Freedom Principle which has hosted and collaborated with a list of South African luminaries such as Tebogo Louis Moholo Moholo, Dizu Plaatjies, Andile Yenana and Errol Dyers with my Cape Town based initiatives such as the TRC and the NGC.

September 2013/ April 2014 The Native Groove Collective a brass band dedicated to the performance of South African popular works held an eight month residency as part of the Cape Town City All Sessions. Mandla is currently embarking on a multitude of project designed to showcase his original music and collaborate with many of South Africa’s celebrated musicians.

Amandla Freedom Ensemble line-up:

Mandla Mlangeni trumpet/bandleader

Nhlanhla Daniel Mahlangu tenor saxophone

Oscar Rachabane tenor and soprano saxophones

Thembinkosi Mavimbela double bass

Tumi Mogorosi drums

Special guest

Andile Yenana piano



Performance commences at 20:30 bookings and general enquiries 011 339 6646 email

Amandla Freedom Ensemble with special guest Andile Yenana

Date: 14 September 2014

Time: 20:30

Venue: Orbit Jazz Club and Bistro

81 de Korte Street, Braamfontein


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