McCoy Mrubata on his musical Journey

Saxophonist, flute player, band leader and composer McCoy Mrubata, who is based in Johannesburg, will be going to KwaZulu Natal to head up a quintet consisting of Durban-based talents Neil Gonsalves on keys, Paki Peloeole on drums, Sibusiso Mkhize on trumpet and Ildo Nandja on bass. For the performance at Tatham Gallery Mrubata will perform with a trio consisting of Neil Gonsalves and Paki Peloeole.

The exciting band will perform lots of music from Mrubata’s forthcoming album titled: The Brasskap Sessions Volume 2. It is a special treat for the people of Kwazulu Natala because the album is not officially released yet and the audiences will be getting a little preview plus the album will be available for sale at the shows.

1. You will be in Durban performing music from your forth coming album: The Brasskap Sessions Volume 2, tell us more about the album?

I started recording The Brasskap Sessions Volume 2 In 2012 and it’s the second one of the Brasskap series after the 2008 release. The Idea of these series is to bring together generations of musicians and make a rich sound that will appeal to the young and old. The series also helps the young to get accustomed to recording sessions early in their careers.

2.  What can your fans expect from it?

The Durban fans can expect music that is rich, full of emotions. Most of the songs that we’ll be performing are on the forth coming album and inspired by day to day experiences.

3.  How is it different from your other projects?

This album is deferent from the previous albums simply because it’s produced by a young producer and pianist, Luyanda Madope.  Luyanda brings out a fresh energetic and emotional McCoy sound.

4.  Who did you work with on this project?

The Brasskap Volume 2 features : Feya Faku , Prince Lengwasa , Jabu Magubane , Paul Hanmer , Tlale Makhene and Louis Mhlanga ,  the great  and a legend  Moses Ngwenya , Peter Sklair , Vuli Yeni , Sipho Ndlovu , Mthunzi Mvubu , Mbuso Khoza, Linda Mzimela , Senzo  Sikhakhane , Sthe Bhengu from the band H3 , Lindiwe Mxolo , Thembinkosi Mavimbela , Lwanda Gogwana , Ayanda Sikade , Sisonke Xhonti and Sandile Gontsana.

5. You will be performing with Neil Gonsalves and Paki Peloeole, what are you most looking forward to?

Performing with great musicians like Neil Gonzavles, Paki Peloeole, Ildo Nandja and Sbu Mkhize is going to be good as I enjoy different Interpretations of my music especially when the musicians are outstanding like these gentlemen.


6.  How do you think music has evolved from the days you started to now?

The music has evolved both positively and negatively since the days I started. Starting with the negative. A lot of music these days doesn’t make musical sense because some so called producers and song writers rely on music samples and just cut and paste stuff and most of these guys  are simply people who have no talent at all and are simply computer literate and  well connected. The music Industry In South Africa Is not regulated  and I think It’s the only Industry where a person excels In certain fields and because of their popularity they just jump Into music , record an album even If they can’t sing and make It. When I was growing up learning the trade , making  music demos and later recording albums , your wouldn’t  hear us just talking about the “beats “ like many musicians today, we would make sure that all the components of the songs are correct and make sense.


Thanks to the Institutions like the Natal University, UCT, Wits and many others for their good music programs. The standard of the music education gets better every year. The challenge in the past few years was after university. There we no platforms for the graduates as there were not enough music venues and many popular and successful musicians used backing tracks and hired a few musicians.

Thanks to the Gospel scene for creating employment for many young musicians and music graduates. The Jazz and classical music scene is not doing badly either in creating work for young musicians. Some popular musicians are doing away with the backing tracks and are hiring musicians. The future looks bright for the Industry.

7.  You just returned from a successful USA tour with a collaborative band called “Uhadi” of which you were a music director, please tell us more about it?

The band Uhadi was Invited by the Lincoln Center to perform at Dizzy’s Coca Cola Jazz Club for the celebration of South Africa’s 20 year freedom. We also performed at Catskills, conducted workshops and master classes at Bard University, Howard University in Washington DC and Columbia University and at Lincoln Center.

8. How was the experience?

It was a great experience showcasing our music In America and interacting with students and music educators. We made a couple of front pages in some city newspapers and our performances received good reviews.

9.  When are you touring again?

The Durban tour is the first leg of the national tour and next is the Cape.

10. What legacy would you like to leave in the music industry?

I always loved sharing, even when I just got Information back in the mid-70s I would share with the fellow aspiring musicians. So I would like to leave a sharing, caring and uniting legacy.


Author: Represent

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