Tonight with Lester Podcast

Blackey Tempi Quintet

Guest : Blackey Tempi Township trumpet titan Blackey Tempi and his quintet combine big sounds, swinging township melodies, with sophisticated soulful harmonic vocals and a celebratory African rhythmic tempo. He has been shaping South African jazz since the 70’s. Known for his stylish blend of rhythmic African music an American traditions and his brilliant big band presence, he has recorded with the likes of Winston Mankunku and Errol Dyers. He started playing trumpet and frugal horn in 1977 after dropping out of school after the Soweto riots of 1976. He is largely self-taught although he joined Jazz Workshop in 1979 to study further. In 1982, he started his first band ‘Fever’ which played mainly cover music of the day and played regularly in the Cape Town nightspots. Between 1982 and 1985, he played with numerous bands in and around Cape Town and in 1985 toured Namibia for three months with the musical “African Follies”. On his return, he moved to Gauteng to play with a wide variety of bands. In 1998, he returned to Cape Town to participate in a three year jazz programme under Professor Mike Campbell but regrettably had to leave the programme due to financial constraints. During this time, Blackey had been playing with an 8 piece big band called “Tandanani” playing original African music, but he felt that a more commercial band was needed to appeal to a broader band of customers and in 2000 “The Brotherhood” was born. Between 2002 and 2012, Blackey toured extensively with hit tribute show “Diamonds and Dust “ and a further two years with other Barnyard tribute shows before returning home to start a successful B & B with his wife which is a hit on the Coffee Beans Route whilst performing at corporate events and festivals. Blackey Tempi quintet comprises: Blackey Tempi on trumpet, Anathi Mobo on vocals, Clayton Pretorius on bass, George Werner on keys and Thulani Mkhatshana on drums.

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