Urban Jazz Experience

METRO FM  |  Podcast , ±16 min episodes every 1 week, 4 days  | 
There is nothing like a bit of Sunday night jazz to beat the blues. The show features amongst other styles, contemporary and African jazz. Nothemba’s interviews and profiles on jazz artists will keep you clued up on all that you need to know. This show is aimed at allowing the listener to kick back and relax whilst summing up their weekend before entering into another busy week.

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Mokopane, Mahwelereng in the Northern Province of South Africa is where Billy Monama was born. From such humble surroundings he inherited a rich musical culture that combined traditional ethnic sounds with those from western jazz styles.

In 1997 Monama was drawn to a guitar belonging to a neighbour. Largely self-taught, Monama immediately showed signs of natural talent on guitar.

Billy’s interests were broader than music. In completing his schooling, he moved to Pretoria and enrolled for a course in Political Science. However the musical calling proved to be much stronger, so he moved to Johannesburg and impulsively enrolled at a music institution after being told about it by a musician who convinced him of a need to study music.

At the Central Johannesburg College is where he began to understand more about music harmony, performance and leading an ensemble. During this period of self-discovery, Billy was also discovering other voices within the Jazz idiom. He speaks fondly of musicians like Wes
Montgomery, Tal Farlow, Charlie Parker, Thelonius Monk, Ella Fitzgerald and many more. With Billy also being involved in a church music team that performed mainly African traditional music, it meant that the African sound continued to be a strong part of his voice. Some of his South African influences include Marks Mankwane, Jimmy Dludlu, Sibongile Khumalo and many others.

Billy Monama has also developed a great sense of melody by composing very catchy tunes without compromising on depth. He admits to being influenced by non-musical surroundings which then inform his music. Monama may have strong Jazz influences but is pushing boundaries all the time, incorporating many different musical cultures. To label him a Jazz musician would be to limit his world.


Peter Auret Grew up in Johannesburg listening to His Parents ‘Rock’ n Roll and Folk Music records without much exposure to jazz and African music, in the Then still very segregated and isolated South Africa. Both altho His mother and grandfather played musical instruments, a career in music WAS never Encouraged by His parents. The Largely self-taught drummer Began playing at the age of seventeen. While in high school he played in the Witwatersrand Youth Orchestra and the school marching band under the direction of South African Pipe Band Champion Jeff Owen. After high school graduation, Auret Attended College in Park Town Johannesburg studying fine arts and design whilst holding down regular club gigs with His own band. Then he Transferred to the National School of Arts Where he Studied drums with Garth Farrant. During That Time he started performing with other bands and artists as a freelancer, and aussi played in a student musical theater producing at the Cairo International Arts Festival and the Grahamstown Arts Festival in 1996.

After college, Peter Developed an interest in Jazz and improvised music. He was fast building a reputation as a Pop / Rock musician, WIDER Gaining recognition with singer / songwriter and Riku Lätti Then the South African Pop sensation Henry Ate (Karma), Where he puts future collaborator, guitarist Max Mikula. Auret and Mikula Went on to record two SAMA (South African Music Awards) Nominated albums With Their Afro Jazz / World Music group Tsunami. Worked with Peter Tsunami from 2001 to 2004 while aussi working more and more with local jazz outfits. In 2004 Peter’s musical horizons expanded, guitarist Jonathan Crossley When booked him to play on a Jazz record featuring local jazz heroes: Marc Duby, Carlo Mombeli, Marcus Wyatt, Sidney Mnisi and Kevin Davidson. Continued to work with Peter Crossley from 2004 to 2007, performing and recording on Reviews another album and a live DVD. This combination led to meeting Peter pianist Roland Moses


Fondly dubbed “The Sax-Junkie”, Tebogo Mokoena has been patiently fine tuning his musical identity over the years, most noteably with Refugee Jazz trio – Planet Lindela; and has in recent years been part of an indie Pop group based out of South Korea; and also supported Nduduzo Makhatini’s “Ikhambi” project. Atoms and The Void is a lively statement and assured announcement that the colourful saxophonists’ trajectory as a leading man on the jazz scene – is upon us.


South African born and raised trumpeter Darren English, is a 2018 honoree of the Atlanta Georgia GSU 40-UNDER-40 Most Influential & Innovative Award, the 2018 Global Peace Song Award Winner (Jazz category - jury voted), the two-time recipient of the Fine Music Radio (FMR) Award. He is the 2012 SAMRO Overseas Award Winner, and received the JAZZIZ Magazine Critics' Pick for BEST-OF-THE-YEAR 2016 & THE HUFFINGTON POST BEST-of-2016. His album Imagine Nation was on the official ballot for the 2017 Grammys® as well as being nominated for BEST-JAZZ-ALBUM in the SAMAs (South African Music Awards) 2017.

He has performed and recorded with Grammy® Nominated trumpeter Russell Gunn (Maxwell, Brandford/Wynton Marsalis) with his Krunk Jazz Orkestra, with vocalist Carmen Bradford (Count Basie) as well as with Curtis Harding Soul Power, with Grammy® Award saxophonist Kebbi Williams (Chris ‘daddy’ Dave, Tedeschi Trucks), Greg Tardy, Joe Gransden, the Marcus Lewis Big Band, Duffy Jackson, Marcus 'Jay Master' Roberts, Dwayne Pate, Dave Matthews (Carlos Santana), the Keith Brown Quartet, the Kevin Bales Quartet, Lil' John Roberts, Marcello Pellitteri, He has also performed with UK Reggae artist Finley Quaye, UK Pop artist Craig David and US pianist Joe McBride, to name a few.


Experienced music event co-ordinator and booking agent with a demonstrated history of working in the performing arts industry. Strong administrative and professional skills in Nonprofit Organizations, Outreach Projects, Event Management and Music Workshops. Recipient of the 22nd Standard Bank Joy of Jazz Honors Award for contribution to Jazz Education in South Africa.


Amaeshi, Okwarachukwu Ikechi (popularly known as Amaeshi) is a Nigerian bassist and composer born to a Christian family of four children, being the youngest member of the family. His siblings were actively involved in church music so it wasn’t strange for him to have picked up an interest in music. But it became more evident that it was more than just an interest when almost everything around him became a musical instrument and he would soon start to lobby his way into the church band and become a part of the school band and various cultural groups as a percussionist.
At the age of 13, he got the opportunity to see for the first time western musical instruments such as the piano, bass, guitar and drums in a local church and that aroused his curiosity. Unfortunately, he didn’t qualify for the church scholarship to learn one of the instruments because he was relatively younger to the other children. Most of the kids opted to learn instruments other than the bass guitar and this caught his attention and that was the beginning of the quest for the knowledge of the instrument. With the help of friends who could share their little knowledge about the bass guitar, he started figuring it out on his own. The story is endless from this point, but it was surely a young man’s quest after his “inner soul and fulfillment”. His bass guitar influences internationally are John Patittucci, Jaco Pastorius, Richard Bona, and Tom Kennedy.


Guitarist Simone Gubbiotti is a musician with a strong presence in both the USA and Europe. Based in Umbria (Italy) Simone frequents the US regularly where he performs with musicians including Peter Erskine, Sid Jacobs, Joe La Barbera, Arthur Blythe, Lewis Nash, Adam Nussbaum and Jay Anderson.

Music was not Simone’s first passion, he began his career in the world of sport where he played professionally for a number of top Italian soccer clubs including AC Milan. After sustaining a serious knee injury Simone took the decision to refocus and pursue a career in music.

Simone is very active as a leader and as a sideman performing in a number of important projects such as the Paul Wertico Quartet. With his trio #Underdogs he toured and played in several international Jazz Festivals in Poland, Uk, Holland, Italy, Usa and Mexico. His collaborations include Ari Hoenig, Joe Lovano, Enrico Pieranunzi, Gabriele Mirabassi, Adrian Oropeza and many others.
As a clinician Simone has taught workshops in Uk, Argentina, Mexico and Italy.


Wynton Marsalis is an internationally acclaimed musician, composer and bandleader, an educator and a leading advocate of American culture. He has created and performed an expansive range of music from quartets to big bands, chamber music ensembles to symphony orchestras and tap dance to ballet, expanding the vocabulary for jazz and classical music with a vital body of work that places him among the world’s finest musicians and composers.

Always swinging, Marsalis blows his trumpet with a clear tone, a depth of emotion and a unique, virtuosic style derived from an encyclopedic range of trumpet techniques. When you hear Marsalis play, you’re hearing life being played out through music.

Marsalis’ core beliefs and foundation for living are based on the principals of jazz. He promotes individual creativity (improvisation), collective cooperation (swing), gratitude and good manners (sophistication), and faces adversity with persistent optimism (the blues). With his evolved humanity and through his selfless work, Marsalis has elevated the quality of human engagement for individuals, social networks and cultural institutions throughout the world.


Voted one of the top bassists of 2016, 2018, and 2019 by the prestigious Downbeat Magazine Reader's Poll, Mark Wade has been an active bassist in the New York City area for over 20 years. His 2015 debut album Event Horizon and 2018 follow up Moving Day were released to international acclaim. The albums received great critical reviews from a host of domestic and international publications such as Downbeat Magazine, Jazz In Europe, Cadence Magazine, Something Else Reviews, The New York City Jazz Record, All About Jazz, Jazz Life (Japan), and several others. Wade has received several features and interviews about his recordings and was commissioned by Downbeat Magazine to write a master class article for its July 2015 and August 2018 issues. Noted UK jazz journalist and author Sammy Stein featured Wade in her 2017 book All That's Jazz. Wade has been signed by Edition 46 Records (Berlin).


In this visionary photographic exhibition, legendary commercial photographer, Siphiwe Mhlambi, takes a bold and crucial look at jazz as a special art form.

He blends his possessed soul with that of the artist’s into the instruments, the self-expression, ambience, mood, and the magical music.

His images reveal how he too is possessed of the spirit of jazz and draws his audience into the life of the musician’s soul fire and into the music itself.

The photographs immediately become a custodian of the imagination and a mirror of the individual artist's soul.


Born with a Talent that was soon to be dis-covered, Mimi Mtshali started performing at a very tender age; sh...e is blessed with an incontestable talent to beat many of her age. She had found her natural niche and pursued her Music Education through University of Cape Town completing her Jazz Performance Degree.

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