Jazz legend Lex at Sof’town Mix

Jazz legend Lex Futshane plays Innocent Victims and Perpetrators on his electric bass while blind pianist Yonela Mnana stokes the keys in the foreground.

World renowned electric and acoustic bassist, composer and educator Lex Futshane took to one of the Trevor Huddlestone Centre stages for the Sophiatown Mix.

The Sophiatown Mix brings artists, performers and most importantly the community together at one of the area’s most historic buildings. Lex’s show marked the end of the centre’s Africa Month performances.

Jazz legend Lex Futshane plays his iconic electric bass for the Sophiatown Mix.

On 26 May the jazz legend and his band took to an intimate room inside the centre. In the audience was a special guest and a family member of the band’s percussionist.

Well-known lawyer Dumisa Ntsebeza, who is related to bandmember Samora Ntsebeza, sat closed-eyed soaking up the Afro Jazz sounds of the band. In addition to being a well-known lawyer Dumisa is chairperson of the Desmond Tutu Peace Trust and a trustee of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

The quintet’s repertoire for the evening included a few jazz standards, African rhythms as well as a surprising blues composition.

Jazz legend Lex Futshane plays Innocent Victims and Perpetrators on his electric bass while blind pianist Yonela Mnana stokes the keys in the foreground.

Lex played his iconic electric bass while Siphiwe Shiburi kept the drums rolling, Zola Futshane, Lex’s son was in his element on the mic and blind pianist Yonela Mnana pounded away at the keys. It was, however, not Lex, the jazz legend, who was a focal point of the show but rather the band’s percussionist Samora.

Samora created harmonies from everyday items including a metal sheet and DIY maracas. During the show’s intermission most of the audience commented on how mesmerising it was to watch Samora play his various instruments.

Samora Ntsebeza mesmerises his audience during a percussion solo.

At the end of the show band members mingled with the audience and caught up with a few familiar faces.

Lex was delighted to be performing in the historic Sophiatown venue. Shiburi also commented on the venue and said he rather likes playing in intimate spaces, especially one that holds so many memories.

Both he and Zola have independent music projects they work on and said it’s always lovely to get together and play with their music family, especially during Africa Month.

Zole Futshane shows off his vocals on the mic.


Roxy de Villiers

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