School of Arts

UKZN Musicians Partner to Revive Live Music Performances

Musicians together here are (top, from left) Neil Gonsalves Trio +2; and Zoe The Seed; and (bottom) N'den (Thuli Zama and David Smith).
Musicians together here are (top, from left) Neil Gonsalves Trio +2; and Zoe The Seed; and (bottom) N'den (Thuli Zama and David Smith).

Jazz lecturer Mr Neil Gonsalves; vocalist and UKZN alumnus Zoe the Seed, and music duo N’den have partnered with Concerts SA for a series of three live performances at UKZN’s Centre for Jazz and Popular Music in a resumption of the Centre’s popular Trios concerts.

Performances are scheduled for 3, 10 and 17 November.

The concert series, dubbed Words & Music, features new and old songs as well as evergreens that echo anew in the troubled times we live in. The performers are Concerts SA digital mobility fund recipients.

On November 10, Zoe the Seed – known for her energy and powerful voice – combines forces with the ‘erudite trumpet voice’ of Mr Thabo Sikhakhane as the +2 in pianist Gonsalves’ trio + 2 project. The band is completed by drummer, Mr Riley Giandhari and bassist, Mr Talent Mbatha.

Recordings of the concerts will be on sale at the ticketing platform.

Zoe The Seed has led her band for six years, performing at venues and festivals all over the country. ‘I appreciate and acknowledge the strides of women in leadership who have carried out change not only through words but also in their actions. I have immense respect for the women who nourished our souls with beautiful sounds and melodies – women such as Dorothy Masuka, Letta Mbuli, Mama Africa and Sibongile Khumalo. We have carried every word, and every sound and this will reflect in my performance,’ she said.

Zoe the Seed will be joined by Thabo Sikhakhane on trumpet, Siyalo Zulu on trombone, Zibusiso Makhathini on keyboard, Dalisu Ndlazi on bass guitar and Sbu Zondi on drums.

Gonsalves employs a trio+ concept, bringing additional musicians into the ensemble as and when the music requires. Zoe and Thabo are regular associates of the trio and the ensemble last performed together before COVID. So, a celebratory concert with feel-good melodies and grooves, and lyrics that tend to social commentary, is in store.

The series closes with the performance featuring Durban duo N’den, led by vocalist and UKZN staffer Ms Thulile Zama, also known from Heels over Head, and pianist and UKZN alumnus Mr David Smith.

Tickets cost R100 and are on sale through the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music on the Howard College campus. (

The doors open at 5.30pm and the shows all start at 6pm.

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