Wednesday, 30 March 2011


South African Afro-Jazz artiste, Thandiswa Mazwai will headline the 24th edition of the Blankets and Wine Concert sponsored by KCB Advantage banking, due to be held on April 3, at Mamba Village-Leisure garden in Karen-Nairobi.
Other artistes slated to perform alongside the South African songstress include local based afro-fusion stars, Lulu, Harry Kimani, and the energetic Makadem.
Curated by Muthoni Ndonga, “The Drummer Queen”, Blankets & Wine is East Africa's premier music experience designed to showcase outstanding musicians in the emerging genres of afro-based music. Every first Sunday of the month the event features three or four outstanding afro-music bands that range from afro soul, afro-fusion, afro-jazz, ethnic, and other genres.
The bank has taken up full sponsorship of the 2011 Blankets & Wine series at a total cost of Kshs 4.5 million. This includes this year’s inaugural event featuring Thandiswa Mazwai, the 5th June sophomore event featuring either LIRA or Zamajobe as the star artistes, the 4th of September event featuring either Oliver Mtukudzi from Zimbwabwe or ASA from Nigeria, and finally the show stopper of the series featuring the indefatigable Hugh Masekela slated for either 27th November or 18th December.

Speaking at Kencom House, KCB Deputy CEO – Group Business, Peter Munyiri, said apart from creating a direct connection between Advantage banking and its target market, this sponsorship, is aimed at nurturing and promoting local talent in an effort to economically and socially empower them.
“Our sponsorship of Blankets and Wine is meant to nurture upcoming Kenyan artistes who specialise in the afro-centric genre of music. Being a Kenyan company, we want to support Muthoni Ndonga, in her efforts of providing an alternative platform, for showcasing the best in Kenyan music but we also want to take it to the next level,” said Munyiri.

He added: “We wish to play our part in creating a Kenyan music industry that is rich in diversity. We also want to play our role in exposing artistes, so that they can earn a decent living, not just pride and fame.”

Hailed as the new generation's Miriam Makeba, Mazwai’s Sophmore album –Ibokwe, went gold within six weeks of its release in South Africa.
After working with Bongo Maffin for 8 years and after 6 award-winning albums, Thandiswa begun work on a solo project - Zabalaza. Zabalaza is a work that elegantly fuses various musical genres, showcases her renowned artistic and musical capabilities, a talent which transcends borders and music genres.
Lulu is a recent addition to the dynamic afro-fusion scene. Paying homage to the coastal city he grew up in his melodic voice and effortless guitar skills creates a world so engaging that takes the audience on a magical journey.

Harry Kiman's fine voice, sincere lyrics and excellent guitar skills set him apart from the rest. Exploring a broad spectrum of issues, Harry effortlessly fuses African soul, rhumba and RnB. Having been through the hustle, here is a young musician with immense talent but just lacking proper support. This self taught musician has nurtured his own unique style and has had hit singles like “Hiaya,” and “Desire” have made him a house hold name.

Makadem, also known as The Ohangla Man is of one Kenya’s most talented and promising performing artist. His command on stage, charisma and powerful vocal delivery, spiced with satire has made many describe him as Kenya’s own Fela Kuti. He has successfully fused different genres of music from Kenya, Africa and the world with his native Luo Benga music.