The father of South Africa’s democracy would have celebrated his 100th birthday in 2018. We do miss him, and wish he was alive to hear our tribute. With this we want to focus attention on the vision that Mandela had of social cohesion, tolerance and global humanism - a vision that the world is very much in need of at the moment.
It’s such a pleasure for us to share our new World Music album 'Symphonic Soweto' with you. Hope you enjoy the music as much as we enjoyed creating it!
Globe-trotting flutist and composer Wouter Kellerman received a 2015 Grammy® Award at the 57th Annual Grammy® Awards for his album Winds of Samsara, a collaboration with Indian composer and producer Ricky Kej.
His album Love Language was released in August 2015 and debuted at nr. 1 on the World Music Billboard charts in its first week. In December 2015 it received a Grammy® nomination for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album, Kellerman’s second nomination in as many years.
Kellerman has also been recognised at home, winning six SAMA’s (South African equivalent to the American Grammy), reinforcing his status as one of South Africa’s foremost musicians. Delighting audiences with a magnetic alchemy of warmth and technical mastery, Kellerman finds his inspiration in the spaces between cultures and countries, genres and disciplines.
Wouter has travelled extensively over the last few years, performing around the globe in places like Berlin, Shanghai, Delhi, New York and Sydney, including sold-out concerts at Carnegie Hall in New York City in 2014 and 2015. His 2012 U.S. tour included appearances at the prestigious Kennedy Centre in Washington DC, at Summerstage and Joe’s Pub in New York City, and at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. In 2010 he performed at the FIFA Soccer World Cup Closing Ceremony to a global television audience of 700-million people.
Since its formation in 2002, Soweto Gospel Choir has received more accolades than most if not all choirs in the world. It has won two Grammy Awards in its own right and has featured in two Grammy Awards with other artists, has an Emmy Award for its collaboration with U2 as well as an Academy Award nomination for its recording with Peter Gabriel on the Disney Pixar film Wall-E. Added to this are several African Awards including three South African Music Awards. The choir’s debut album “Voices From Heaven” went to Number One in the Billboard World Music Chart within its first week of release in the US and following albums have also featured on the charts.
The Choir has travelled throughout the world over the past 16 years, with concerts at Carnegie Hall, London Festival Hall and the Sydney Opera House, to name a few. They’ve been special guests at the MTV Africa Music Awards and the AFRIMA (All Africa Awards) and have toured many countries in Africa including Botswana, Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, Swaziland and Réunion.
Soweto Gospel Choir has recorded and performed with some of the world’s greatest artists including Bono and U2, Queen, Peter Gabriel, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Jimmy Cliff, Celine Dion, John Legend, Jennifer Hudson, Dianna Ross, Josh Grobin, Johnny Clegg, and Angelique Kidjo.
The Choir’s concert repertoire includes a mix of African gospel, South African traditional and international classics, and features much dancing and drumming. The Choir is known for the incredible energy and spirit they bring to their music.
Based in the city of Durban and the province of KwaZulu-Natal, the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra is widely regarded as Africa’s premier orchestra. Consisting of 70 full time professional musicians who come from more than 20 countries, the Orchestra has, over the past 30 years, earned a reputation for excellence and innovation amongst South African orchestras.
A strong vision of high artistic values combined with a comprehensive education and community engagement programme has been fostered by Mr Bongani Tembe, a Juilliard School graduate, who joined the Orchestra in 1994 at the dawn of South Africa’s democracy. These endeavours encompass arts exposure, skills training and performance opportunities that contribute to the ongoing sustainability and growth of this art form in South Africa.
Angélique Kidjo is a Grammy Award-winning Beninese singer-songwriter and activist, noted for her diverse musical influences and creative music videos. Time Magazine has called her "Africa's premier diva”. The BBC has included Kidjo in its list of the African continent's 50 most iconic figures. The Guardian has listed her as one of its Top 100 Most Inspiring Women in the World and Kidjo is the first woman to be listed among "The 40 Most Powerful Celebrities in Africa" by Forbes magazine.
The Daily Telegraph in London described her as "The undisputed queen of African music" during the 2012 Olympic Games River of Music Festival. In March 2013, National Public Radio in America, called her "Africa's greatest living diva". Kidjo is listed among the "2014 Most Influential Africans" by New African magazine and Jeune Afrique. Forbes Afrique put Kidjo on the cover of their "100 most influential women" issue in 2015. On June 6, 2013, Kidjo was elected vice-president of the (CISAC). She now resides in NYC where she is an occasional contributor to the New York Times. Kidjo has received Honorary Doctorates from Yale University, Berklee College of Music and Middlebury College.