Cape Town Jazz Fest After-Party, Red Bull Bass Camp, and Ikapa Jazz are some of the festivals this young up and coming jazz saxophone player has performed in. His name is Lindelo Mangesi.
We recently sat down with Lindelo to find out who he is, what makes him tick, his current projects and future plans. This is how we got to know Lindelo.
LIVE: Who is Lindelo?
Lindelo: Lindelo is a modest and humble musician, with a rich musical background. Born in Mossel Bay, but now resides in the Sophia Town of Cape Town, also known as Gugulethu. Apart from his musical career, Lindelo has a huge passion for architecture. He aspires to be an architect in the near future .
LIVE: Where did it all start? Judging from the fact that you were exposed to music at an early age.
Lindelo: The first time I had an electrifying feeling about jazz music was on a family road trip. My Father started playing a Winston Mankunku tape and as a child I was very naïve towards the genre, but I eventually found myself lost in the midst of the soft sounds of his music. At that time I was already introduced to a musical instrument called a recorder. Within a period of three years, I concluded that I really wanted to pursue music as a career. I then decided that I wanted to enroll in a musical high school to nurture my skill.
LIVE: Being from the township Gugulethu, how do you deal with being into jazz while your peers are enjoying house and spaza?
Lindelo: It was not very difficult for me. I had the privilege of learning from the underdogs of the jazz scene, namely Spencer and Hawk. They mentored me and, in essence, I never lost focus from then. That is when the journey kicked off.
LIVE: Did your love for playing the saxophone develop during that time or were you already playing other instruments?
Yes, I started from the recorder and shifted to the sax. My mother bought other instruments like violins and bass guitars. Those are other instruments that I can play as I am mostly self-taught. The piano and keyboard, I had to learn at school.
LIVE: Tell us about the whole transition from jazz to house, interestingly I met you at a club and you were playing to a crowd, how is that experience like?
Lindelo: (Deep sigh) Honestly, there is a big difference. With the club scene you play with a DJ and you have to be creative and think on the spot. A lot of times I practise with DJs but it’s a lot of fun .
LIVE: What is the response like? Because people are not really used to those kinds of house performances, they’re more familiar with live hip hop acts etc.
Lindelo: The response at first, was kind of cold with the audience. But soon I discovered a way to keep them captivated. The trick was to interact with them. As I played my saxophone, I moved swiftly around the club so that they could really see that this was live.The response to that has been awesome. The concept has already been there with places like Johannesburg.
LIVE: What have been your biggest performance highlights so far?
Lindelo: I had the privilege of performing at the Cape Town international Jazz festival after party. It was not only about performing there but more about the mass of local artists creating a bond, sharing music, and creating a network. I also performed at Ikapa jazz which is hosted in Gugulethu.
LIVE: Any tours around the country?
Lindelo: I went on a tour with Red Bull on their base camp where I was the only live instrumentalist because it was mostly producers and DJs. They really appreciated my craft. There were no feuds, egos or [any] awkwardness. I also had the privilege of meeting Hugh Masekela and Black Coffee.
LIVE: Speaking of Bra Hugh being a legendary brass player, who inspires you?
Lindelo: Locally, it has to be the late Winston Mankunku. He inspired me a lot and is the reason I still play today.
LIVE: Since he has passed on, are you looking into making a special tribute song for him?
Lindelo: Absolutely! I haven’t decided on the project yet, but I am looking into making something just to pay homage to him.
LIVE: What are your future plans? And do you play with a band or as a solo act?
Lindelo: I am more of a solo artist but I do play with a band. Half of the time I play with DJs.
LIVE: Where can people catch you?
Lindelo: At Vintage Lounge every Tuesday in Site C, Khayelitsha and at The Crypt Jazz lounge once a month.
You can check him on Facebook : Lindelo Mangesi
Images by Zukisa Mambumbu