The State Theatre in Tshwane will come alive on 7 April when two ladies of soul collaborate in a tribute to the late jazz maestro Thandie Klaasen. Klaasen, who passed away two months ago, left the world with a stellar and rich body of folk music that will continue to define township people, their passion, joys, sadness, determination and rituals.
In what is billed as an explosive revisiting of Klaasen’s memory and a trip through her musical accomplishments, her highly talented multi-award winning daughter Lorraine Klaasen and equally gifted all-round artist Sindiswa Seakhoa will serve a sumptuous musical dish prepared with the energy and vigour that Mama Thandie displayed every time she hit the stage to perform. They are both gifted lyricists, vocalists, songwriters and performers whose stage performances can be described as electrifying.
Lorraine was born in Soweto and spent most of her years living in Montreal, Canada where she established her musical identity and crafted her unique sound that encompasses cultural influences from Quebec, Francophone Africa, Haiti and the Caribbean whose musicians she has collaborated with. A seasoned collaborator, Lorraine Klaasen sings in several languages including isiZulu, Sesotho, isiXhosa, Lingala, English and French.
She has released three critically acclaimed albums, Africa Calling, where she worked with producer Mongezi Ntaka and bassist Bakithi Khumalo; A Tribute to Miriam Makeba, which went on to win the 2013 Juno Award for World Music Album and of the Year and Hagood Hardy Award. She recently released Nouvelle Journée where she once again pays tribute to her Sowetan heritage by singing in a potpourri of South African languages.
Her collaboration with Sindiswa Seakhoa promises to be a meeting of minds as they both bring rich cultural depth to their soulful jazzy tunes inspired by the sounds of the 50s, 60s and 70s – that age of marabi, scathamiya and maskandi, when musicians were dancers and bump jive was the hype.
Seakhoa might be a newcomer to the ‘recording industry’ but she has been writing and singing for many years. Born in Tshwane and now living in Johannesburg, she released her first album Tata in 2015 which contained all the statements and kudos Sindiswa wanted shared through a musical platform. In Tata she paid tribute to Glasgow, that Scotland city that contributed to the fight against apartheid. Titled as a tribute to her father the album took Sindiswa to perform at acclaimed gigs such as the 4thChinua Achebe Annual Colloquia at Brown University, Rhode Island, USA, the Hugh Masekela Annual Lecture, International University of East Africa, Kampala, Uganda, Ditsong National Museum of Cultural History, Tshwane,South Africa, where she featured the internationally-acclaimed musician, Vusi Mahlasela, Africa Meets Africa, Africa Day, at the Mazisi Kunene Literary Museum, eThekwini/Durban, KwaZulu Natal, sharing stage with legendary musician Madala Kunene and storyteller par excellence, Gcina Mhlophe, and many others.
In 2016 Sindiswa released her follow-up album Nank’uNomvula to critical acclaim.
The April 7 Tribute to Mama Klaasen musical performance at the State Theatre promises to be a memorable once-off ritual that starts at 20h00 and will continue until late in the night. Tickets are available at Computicket at R200 and R250 at the door.