Bay talent aims at national glory

FIRST OF MANY: From left, bassist Sinethemba Ncetani and lead vocalist Asanda Mqiki, are captured during their band's performance at yesterday's launch. Picture: FREDLIN ADRIAAN
FIRST OF MANY: From left, bassist Sinethemba Ncetani and lead vocalist Asanda Mqiki, are captured during their band’s performance at yesterday’s launch. Picture: FREDLIN ADRIAAN

ART and entertainment lovers can look forward to a stream of concert series set to take place as of next month, following a launch of the Nelson Mandela Bay Concert Series at the Opera House in Port Elizabeth yesterday.

“An effort of LoveLoud Creative Consultants and the Opera House, with backing from the national and provincial Department of Arts – the Nelson Mandela Bay granting aid the musical series will be rolled out in the next four months, from June 1 till the end of September,” Opera House general manager Monde Ngonyama said.

LoveLoud has been appointed by the Port Elizabeth Opera House to manage and implement the newest of its kind in the Nelson Mandela Bay and Eastern Cape, the Nelson Mandela Bay Concert Series.

LoveLoud’s Cingiwe Skosana said the concerts – featuring a national act supported by local acts – would be held once a month.

“There are two concerts planned for June 1 and 22. The first will feature Heavy K as the main act, a Veeplaas born musician, who has gone on to make it nationally.”

Ngonyama who came up with the idea said there had not been any big festivals in the city since the 2011 International Jazz Festival. “Our city’s talent is certainly not ready for a big festival, so to improve the quality of local artists we have realised we need to first give them the opportunity to perform in a series of concerts.

“This idea will help transform a performing arts stage like the Opera House from a receiving house to a production house, and hopefully, change the external view that entertainment in Port Elizabeth is accidental.

“We need to prove ourselves in all ways, that is why we want to include artists of all musical genres in our concerts,” he said.

Many of the local talent who had been selected to feature in the shows were identified from Yiyo sessions, a weekly platform that showcases local entertainment at the Opera House.

Skosana said the plan was for each concert series to ensure that every national act featured in a concert was backed and supported by local artists.

LoveLoud chief executive officer PoeticSoul Mahambehlala, said the partnership would help grow the company. “Someone older than us – the Opera House – has put faith in us and trusted us with an account as big as this.

“Our dream for the Eastern Cape to reclaim its position on the national radar as the destination of quality music concerts is finally coming true,” she said. – Balisa Ntloko

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