Jazzman Khaya Mahlangu Is Back Performing Live After Long Hiatus

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As the saying goes, “music is a healer” and South African jazz musician Khaya Mahlangu is a living testimony.

After being hospitalised for six months in 2020, the veteran musician is back to his first love for celebrating his life.

The saxophonist will be collaborating with Xolisa Dlamini and Beyond Vocal during the launch of Khaya Mahlangu legacy concert at the Ukhamba Lobuntu venue in Middleburg on 26th February.

The much-anticipated concert is designed to reach the jazz communities in and around Mpumalanga, who normally do not get an opportunity to experience and enjoy such high calibre jazz gigs.

“The project has been under the pipeline for some time, but due to lack of funding, I could not do much. 

“The year 2020 was a very bad one for me, having spent some time in hospital, just slowed things. 

“I have been talking with a friend of mine who is based in Mhluzi (Middleburg) that we need to do something in the area. where my father was born. 

“Though I am a Soweto born, I have upbringing roots in the area, my father was born in the area, said the baritone musician.”

Mahlangu says he would have liked the project to be an annual event, as he wants to share his legacy with the people of Mhluzi, but with no funding that won’t be possible and hopes the cash injection investment is made unto the project.

Khaya Mahlangu’s last release was a live double CD/DVD recorded album titled Visions last year. 

“The album was recorded live on 17th January 2020, but because I was in the hospital for almost six months, I could not release nor promote it”.

He continued that he has a lot of new material that he wants to record with younger musicians, as they always energise him when he plays with them.

Khaya Mahlangu is planning to establish an orchestra in Soweto in the future. 

“I know it won’t be easy, but I am a die and for as long as I still living, this will be a reality”.

Khaya Mahlangu is not new to orchestra music, as he writes music for a few orchestras and lectures at the Wits University music faculty.

The Eastern Cape-born Xolisa Dlamini will showcase her latest album Fire Born which was released last year. 

Also billed to perform is the five-member acapella group Beyond Vocal.

The organiser and promoter Paul Kashe explained that his motivation to host the event was after the passing of South African legends Jonas Gwangwa, Hugh Masekela, and Sipho Gumede.

“We have seen in the last two years how many musicians have departed. We have lost esteemed musical heroes whom we rarely celebrate until they leave the planet,” said Kashe. 

“My friend Khaya Mahlangu’s hospitalisation, prompted this idea of a concert, which is in tribute to his fighting spirit,”

He said the concert at Ukhamba Lobuntu will start a new impetus towards fostering a jazz lifestyle and partnering with key players such as the jazz movement in the region, as well as events such as the Khaya Mahlangu Legacy to celebrate iconic SA jazz and its inherent styles.

“In the future, we plan to bring Masterclasses around Mhluzi in Middleburg and eMalahleni as part of uplifting these communities and giving back,” said Kashe. 

Jazz at Ukhamba Lobuntu 26 Feb 2022 15:00 tickets sold at R200pp from Webtickets https://www.webtickets.co.za/v2/Event.aspx?itemid=1512002021