Strumming your pain with his fingers…


Lulama Gaulana at Buffalo City Comes Alive

The following is a profile for jazz musician Lulama Gaulana that was written in 2014. It has been used for flyers and festival programs.


They say you can judge a man by the company he keeps. When one sees the enviable list of exceptional musicians with whom Lulama Gaulana has shared the stage over the years, one knows this dexterous bassist, guitarist and composer is not only a musical raconteur, but an inspirational luminary too. From Hugh Masekela, Judith Sephuma, Gloria Bosman and Jimmy Dludlu to the late Mr. C. Ngukana, father of the Ngukana brothers to Pinese Saul, Feya Faku and Marcus Wyatt… When you see him play live you’ll appreciate why his name is among the greats.

But names alone don’t truly reveal the respect he holds within the industry. The presence he exudes on stage continues out into the streets of his community, where he tirelessly volunteers time to teaching, inspiring and encouraging youngsters to follow his footsteps into the seductively gratifying world of jazz. He has unearthed and moulded many talented young musicians; some of who have gone on to study music at places like UKZN or are members of their own local bands.

Born to musical parents in the Eastern Cape, music flowed in his blood from his early youth. His vitality continues to enthrall audiences both internationally, from Saudi Arabia to the Netherlands and locally at venues all over South Africa. His presence in the jazz world like a quiet bass riff at the start of a soulful refrain: deep seated, electrifying and undeniably essential. Watch him mesmerise an audience. Book him for your stagc and experience the true soul of jazz today.

Ayanda will beat the beat into you…

Ayanda Sikade was born on 1 January 1981, the third in the family of seven kids. By the time he was eight, he had already started his long journey in music. At the age of 10, Ayanda was drumming for Vuka Jazz band in Mdantsane township in East London, where he was born.

In 1996, Ayanda attended the Grahamstown Youth Jazz Festival, where he was selected to represent South African youth jazz in Sweden, even though the trip never came to pass. In 1999 at the Grahamstown Youth Festival he met Darius Brubeck, who invited him to join the University of Natal’s jazz programme. Ayanda was selected to represent South African students at the IAJE (International Association for Jazz Educators) conference in Long Beach, California in the USA. In 2004, he won the prestigious SAMRO Overseas Scholarship, which he took in 2009.

Ayanda has worked with the most accomplished jazz musicians in South Africa and abroad, including Feya Faku, Bheki Mseleku, Robbie Jansen, Barney Rachabane, Zim Ngqawana, Simphiwe Dana and Darius Brubeck, just to name a few. In mid-2010, Ayanda was invited to collaborate with Swiss jazz musician Jan Galega Brönnimann on a theatre piece written and directed by Mr Jorg Lure in Berlin. His debut album was recently recorded with leading local jazz musicians Herbie Tsoaeli (contrabass), Nduduzo Makhathini (piano), Mthunzi Mvubu (alto and soprano sax) and Nhlanhla Mahlangu (tenor and soprano sax). He is also the drummer for Banz Oester & The Rainmakers, who in 2014 released their album ‘Live at the Bird’s Eye’.