Jazz icon promises a treat

SOMETHING old, something new and mostly jazz, is what iconic South African songstress Sibongile Khumalo says people can expect from her performance in Port Elizabeth.

The internationally acclaimed singer will be performing at a concert organised by Bella Voce Chorale, a choir based in New Brighton.

The performance at the Nangoza Jebe Hall will feature a range of local acts, including bass soloist Ntsikelelo Mali, Take Note Jazz Band and poet Lelethu Mahambehlala.

"It is always gratifying to work with young people. To see them blossom from being unsure to self-assured masters of what they are doing." said Khumalo

Opera singer Andiswa Makana of New Brighton, who will be also performing said: "It is an honour – it has been a long dream of mine to perform with her [Khumalo]. The only pity is not performing a duet, but it is great to be able to share the same stage."

As an artist who transcends many genres of music from opera to jazz, Khumalo said she was partial to all vocal music, especially South African choral music, traditional music and jazz.

"Our native languages paint incredibly beautiful images and embody important teachings, especially when written well. I am very partial to this music because it talks to who I am."

Khumalo, who is renowned for her versatility and range of style, added: "I have always liked to sing and so in the early years I would sing songs that I liked and enjoyed.

"Then I heard people remark about my versatility. I then started paying attention and grew my repertoire."

While Khumalo has moved away from doing many public performances as she says her interest is slowly but surely moving towards the education sphere, she still has advice for aspiring artists.

"I believe the one important thing is to have a vision for one's life.

"Set goals for yourself so that even if you get distracted or side-tracked you can always get back on your path because you have an idea where you want to go."

By coming to Port Elizabeth, Khumalo hopes to bring her music to new audiences, "It puts one in touch with one's broader audience, ... and also inspires those wanting to get into the same industry," she said.