Amandla Freedom

Amandla Freedom Ensemble

Illustration by Mzwandile Buthelezi

Illustration by Mzwandile Buthelezi

The Amandla Freedom Ensemble led by Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz 2019 Mandla Mlangeni will embark on its most ambitious project to date. Oratorio of a Forgotten Youth. A multi-disciplinary, genre bending and intergeneration collaborative endeavour  that will span  the period   two months  with a series of performances in Johannesburg at Ginz on Dynasty and week-long residency in Cape Town leading up to a grand performance of Oratorio Of A Forgotten Youth . In the course of May and June the Ensemble's focus is to collaborate with the strongest musical forces within the jazz, classical and indigenous scene while also working with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, UWC Choir and trailblazing poet Koleka Putuma. This new endeavour with creative director Mandla Mbothwe at the helm seeks to create new ways of seeing ourselves and the world in which we live.

Oratorio of a Forgotten Youth brings together Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz 2019 Mandla Mlangeni, The Centre For Humanities Research in collaboration with Artscape in a creative pairing that seeks to be the springboard for the production and execution of bold new ideas of reimaging spaces for creative discourse.

Amandla Freedom Ensemble’s week long residency in Stellenbosch and Cape Town from the period of the 12th to the 20th of May  is made possible in association with Africa Open Institute, The Interdisciplinary Forum For Popular Music, Jazz In The Native Yard and Mlangeni’s residency at The Centre For Humanities Research is the primary anchor that drives this discourse to promote cultural of South African Arts awareness and forge strong alliances within broader artistic constituencies.

Being a band based in Johannesburg Amandla Freedom Ensemble’s residency in Cape Town is an opportunity to collaborate with other seemingly disjointed genres of arts imagine a cutting edge jazz ensemble paired with South Africa's leading orchestra, the Cape Town Philharmonic and the award winning UWC Choir. One is bound to be drawn to the sheer audacity of this project in that it will create  new and interesting narratives junta posed with choral renditions on the struggles of our past, while  swing through the perplexities of our present day and conducting the foundations of our future.

The Amandla Freedom Ensemble, would anchor the work musically while acclaimed playwright and poet Koleka Putuma.

The Amandla Freedom Ensemble is composed of:

Mandla Mlangeni on trumpet

Nhlanhla Mahlangu alto sax

Gontse Makhene percussion

Siya Makuzeni trombone and vocals

Yonela Mnana piano and vocals

Ariel Zamonsky bass

Tour Itinerary:



Thursday 09 May 2019; 20:00

Ginz On Dynasty, 19 Westbrooke Drive, Sandton


Sunday 12 May 2019; 16:00

Soute, Unit B 10, First floor, Salt Orchard, Yew Street, Salt River


13 – May 2019

Amandla Freedom Ensemble in association with Africa Open Institute and the Interdisciplinary Forum For Popular Music Present Free Workshops, 13 to 15 May, 10:00 – 15:00 Amazink, Masintandane Road, Kayamnandi, Stellenbosch

Friday 17 May 2019 18:30; R150

Selective Live, 189 Buitengracht Str, Cape Town

18 May 2019 20:30; R150

Masintandane Road, Kayamnandi

Sunday 19 May 16:00; R150

Guga Sthebe, Washington Street, Langa Cape Town.

Special guests, UWC Choir

Sat 15 June 18:00; R200

Artscape Opera House, DF Malan Street, Cape Town, 8001.

Directed by Mandla Mbothwe. Special guests: Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, Koleka Putuma, UWC Choir

Sunday 16 June16:00 R250

Norval Foundation; 4 Steenberg Road, Steenberg Estate