UFH Music Department Talent Blooms at Umtiza Arts Fest

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Dr Martin Goldstein on the keys with Zintle and Mava on the vocals.

A music lecturer and two students from the University of Fort Hare’s Music Department are among the talented artists lined up to perform at the Umtiza Arts Festival that is currently underway in East London from 24 May to 3 June.

Dr Martin Goldstein, UFH Classical Music Lecturer will be giving a piano recital (30 May); Zintle Mbuyazwe, a final-year student and jazz musician will render a silent concert (24 May) while Mava Gqeba who is also a final-year student majoring in jazz music, will perform his one-man show titled, “Dear Tata: What Makes A man a man?”

In addition, the former UFH Music HOD and multi-award-winning jazz maestro, Dr Nduduzo Makhathini will also be gracing the Umtiza stage. Together with Mbuso Khoza, they will present their recently released project titled, “Abasemkhathini.”

The exciting Festival is hosted by the Guild Theatre, East London Museum, and Ann Bryant Art Gallery and aims to create an entertaining line-up that expresses the talent the Eastern Cape possesses in the art, music, and drama spaces.

Speaking ahead of her performance this evening, Zintle who goes by the stage name “Ne Ahtyah” said she was excited to be among this year’s artists.

“It is my first time performing at the festival. It is a great opportunity to showcase my talent to a bigger audience and with those in the industry.”

Her performance will unfold as a silent concert where the audience will be provided wireless headphones to listen to the live performance, interact and react to her music. She will be performing some of her music, “Ingoma zase Mandulo,” that she has composed over the years, sounds that reflect her essence as a singer, one who seeks to heal, uplift, and soothe souls.

Dr Goldstein will be playing a range of styles in his recital including works by Bach, Chopin and Debussy.

He said: “I am grateful to the University of Fort Hare for allowing me to develop both as a lecturer and musician. I have a particular interest in Bach as my PhD dissertation was on ‘Stretto in Bach’s Instrumental Fugues’. I always like to include one of his works in a recital. I consider Chopin the essence of the piano, so I have included one or two of his works too. In addition to the other works that I will play in this forty-five-minute recital, I will conclude with Debussy. I love the singing quality which his works bring out of the piano.”

Mava’s cabaret tells the story of many young black men through dance, music and poignant storytelling. His performance explores themes such as identity, self-worth and sexual liberation, but most importantly it poses the question, “What does it mean to be a black man in South Africa in this day and age?”

Speaking ahead of his show, Mava who is a gifted Actor, Singer, Dancer, and Songwriter who formerly lived in Cape Town, said he was excited to be part of the show and even more excited to witness how showbiz in East London and the Eastern Cape has grown.

Both Mava and Zintle are lined up for this year’s annual National Arts Festival in Makhanda.