The multi-talented, multi-instrumentalist eight-member marimba band, Abavuki, celebrated its 20-year-anniversary with a performance on Saturday at Gallery 44 & Theatre on Long Street, Cape Town and live-streamed the event as well.
These gifted men who are from Langa and Philippi have already toured 13 countries, IOL reports.
Andile Makubalo, who is one of the band members, pointed out that even though they have been in the industry for a while, not many people know about them, News24 says.
“We established the group in 2001 and we’ve been performing all over the world. Our first gig in Asia was in China in 2006. We were performing on the Silk Road Festival. Also in 2015, we had a European Tour where we performed in different countries including the Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, and Belgium,” he mentioned.
Meanwhile, band member Siyabulela Jiyana said that the group had originally come together when they were teenagers and would play at the V&A Waterfront to earn a few bucks, while their first booked performance was at the switching on of the lights festival on 2 December, 2001.
“That was our first gig and the first time we played brass with marimbas. We never rehearsed the drums and brass before so… we took the instruments out of the car, went into the toilets of the Cape Town Station and had a rehearsal. We blew everyone away to the point that we actually got a seven day contract to perform at the festival of Lights,” he said.
He further mentioned the difficulties of Covid-19 while paying tribute to band members who they have lost due to the coronavirus:
“Covid-19 hit us hard. We were planning big things. Performances (bookings) were flocking in. 2020 was looking hopeful and then, boom – Covid-19. Our gigs were being cancelled. It has affected us mentally and emotionally, of course, because of the band members that we lost, and obviously financially. We lost a lot of gigs, a lot of revenue,” he mentioned.
This first performance was a taste of what can be expected at their 2022 World Tour while a new album is in the process of being released.
Here’s a quick look at the men behind the music:
Capetonian Afro-fusion band Abavuki is set to light the European festival stage circuit on fire from Jun-Aug 2015. pic.twitter.com/J02feyOtU0
— Yowzit (@Yowzit_com) May 7, 2015
— Madanmohan Rao (@MadanRao) July 14, 2017
On April 28, Abavuki will be hosting their ‘Freedom in our Lifetime’ concert which is about celebrating freedom in today’s modern world. #FreedomInOurLifetimehttps://t.co/VIjeMm9u3d pic.twitter.com/bhbqiJYjfh
— SA Breaking News (@SABreakingNews) April 13, 2018
Picture: Unsplash / Twitter