Sunday Live and Unplugged at Back of the Moon with Tlale Makhene
Tlale Makhene is one of South Africa’s most remarkable drumming talents. He will be performing live at Back O’ the Moon on Sunday, 25 June. Highly regarded by musicians and music fans alike, he has been featured in and produced more than 300 jazz and world music albums and is a much sought after indigenous music teacher, musical director, session musician and performer.
Many refer to Tlale as “The Groove Master” because of his amazing skill and concepts around polyrhythmic/melodic music. His workshops encompass rhythm and body percussion for beginners, intermediate and master classes.
Through the many workshops that Tlale held and attended, he came across a group of three Danish drummers known as Drums Across. They had been recruiting drummers in the country and naturally, Tlale came highly recommended for the group.
Starting in Guinea, the group travelled around Africa looking for talent to work with. He was invited to perform, acquire more skill in contemporary musicology with them in Denmark for three months. This afforded him an opportunity to collaborate with John Sund, Yasser Pino, Rune Thorsteinsson (pianist), Carsten D among many others. His work ethic permeates without him having to blow his own horn. Tlale went on and performed with the Copenhagen Rhythmic Conservatory Big Band and taught rhythmic workshops in Copenhagen as part of a cultural exchange program. Subsequently, Tlale then recorded 6 tracks for his album in Denmark before completing the project in South Africa. The rest of the tracks were recorded at SABC studios in Johannesburg. Produced by Africa Mkhize (husband to Zenzeke Makeba – Miriam Makeba’s grand daughter), the album is a far cry from simply a drumming album – it is a celebration of musical styles. A fusion of raw talent and honed skills, blending with the traditional elements that make these songs some of the best loved around.
Gentle, focused and extremely wise for his years, he renders his listeners, students and colleagues calm with his confident, soft-spoken voice.
His spiritual album, The Ascension of the Enlightened, is a sincere offering from a truly enlightened man. Born in Soweto, Tlale moved to Swaziland at a young age and began drumming at the age of four. The album was nominated and won the MTN South African Music Award for Best Contemporary Album. He was contending this category with established artists such as Hugh Masekela, Paul Hanmer, Water + Lights and Themba Mkhize. Tlale has been currently involved in this year’s first session of William Kentridge’s Centre For Less Good Idea.
Highlights Prior to 2011
- Toured nationally with Keiko Matsui (Japan) as well as performing in her album called MOYO, where he got to work with Derrick Nakamoto who has been a long-time producer for Keiko Matsui.
- He also performed with Pharaoh Sanders Corrine Bailey (U.K), Angelique Kidjo (Benin), Jamalia (U.K) during the 46664 concerts.
- Tlale was part of a performance at a World Economic Forum in an Ensemble led by Caiphus Semenya and directed by Quincy Jones. Other members of that ensemble were Arturo Sandoval, Bashiri Johnson, Branford Marsalis, Louis Nash and Herbie Hancock.
- On 14th November 2009 he was the music director of the Tihlabani Awards in Swaziland.
- In the same year directed the Zone6 Soccer Games (LOC) in Swaziland.
- On the 30th November 2009 he further directed the entertainment for the Coca-Cola World Cup Trophy viewing in Swaziland at the Mavuso Trade Center.
- In 2010 he produced and directed the jazz festival for the SwaziExpo with artists such as McCoy Mrubata, Paul Hanmer, Simphiwe Dana, Flo D, and Shannon Modday. On that occasion, he put together a mix of Swaziland’s rhythm section and South African artists to create a level where both artists from South Africa and Swaziland could exchange cultures and feed off each other.
- Tlale Makhene together with Kasietainment choreographed a piece in the 2010 King Mswasti III’s birthday party where Tlale further directed an Arts and Culture Vocal ensemble and lead it on percussions.
- He directed the launch of the Zone 6 Soccer Games and the Coca-Cola World Cup Tour in Swaziland at the Mavuso Trade Center
“My ancestors remain close by to guide and protect me as long as I honour them and respect people”
- Defying Time Improvisation Workshop with world renowned visual artist William Kentridge
- Jazz Foundation South Africa, Melodie Jazz concert with Yusuf Latif and Rufus Reed
- Glow/Caf Football of the Year Awards in Ghana
- Concert with Moreira Changisa in Maputo, Mozambique
- Album launch and performance with Indigenous Ensemble in Malawi
- African leadership network, Ethiopia
- Launch of Sports Awards by Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation
- Cape Town International Jazz Festival (28-31 March)
- Musical Director and mentor for the Sibikwa African Indigenous Orchestra, January – August
- More Jazz Series Festival, Maputo, Mozambique – hosted by Moreira Chonguica featuring Najee (April)
- “Refuse the Hour” tour with William Kentridge: Frascati Theatre 18 and 19 June (Amsterdam), Municipal Theatre 7-13 July (Avignon France), Argentina Theatre 14 – 18 November (Rome)