The Lwanda Gogwana Songbook fuses traditional Xhosa harmonies with jazz harmonies and contemporary music. Hugely inspired by Moses Molelekwa, Terence Blanchard, Hugh Masekela, Feya Faku, Thandiswa Mazwai, Suthukazi Arosi, Roy Hargrove and the legendary Miles Davis.
Born in East London, South Africa. He started his music career by singing in his school choir at the age of 9 at Cambridge Prep School, then started the piano at age 10 at Cambridge Junior and the trumpet at age 11 under the tutorship of Frank Burton in 1996.
He later played in the Cambridge Junior Jazz band from 1997-1999, and from 2000-2004 played trumpet in the Stirling High Big band, and toured Namibia in 2001 and recorded 3 albums with the band.
In 2002, Lwanda joined the Stirling High Jazz band on piano, and toured the UK,
and from 2001, for 4 consecutive years, made it into the National Schools & Youth Big bands and worked with different band directors, Mike Campbell, Merlin Julie, Brian Thusi and John Davies, and received his first honours cum laude for music in 2001.
In 2004 he won the prize for most promising brass player in East London at the annual eisteddfod.
He enrolled at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in 2005 for a Bachelor of music degree in composition and arrangement under Prof Peter Klatzow and Prof Mike Campbell, and played for the UCT big band from 2005-2008
Lwanda joined the Little Giants band in 2005, and composed and arranged the composition “Ungalibali” available on the Little Giants album, ‘Ungalibali’.
In 2006 he received a scholarship to study in Norway, Europe on exchange at the Norges Musikkhogskole based at the University of Oslo.
In 2007 he joined Abdullah Ibrahim’s Cape Town Jazz Orchestra and composed and arranged some compositions for the band. With both The Little Giants and the Cape Town Jazz Orchestra, Lwanda performed at the Cape Town Jazz Festival in
In 2007 & 2008 he made it into the National Youth Jazz Band, under Dr Andrew Lilley and Dr Neil Gonsalves respectively, and got his debut at the Joy of Jazz Festival in Johannesburg in 2007.
He then in 2008, launched his own project, The Lwanda Gogwana Songbook.
In 2009 he toured Germany with the MIAGI youth orchestra attending a youth classical music festival in Berlin, later the same year he toured The Reunion Islands with the Jamaican reggae star, Iqulah.
In 2010 he appeared with Tete Mbambisa and Bokani Dyer at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival.
Some of the musicians Lwanda has worked with include: Lulama Gaulana, Simphiwe Dana, Neo Muyanga, Jimmy Dludlu, Steve Dyer, Moreira Chonguica, Ezra Ngcukana, Errol Dyers, Tete Mbambisa, Robbie Jansen, Bruce Cassidy, John Fedchock, Thandi Klaasen, Judith Sephuma, Marcus Wyatt, Nomfusi and had the honour of recording with some of these artists: Jimmy Dludlu, Bokani Dyer, Simphiwe Dana, Camillo Lombard, Ezra Ngcukana, Buddy Wells and Max Vidima.
Lwanda has also been involved in a couple of community building projects, including teaching and conducting workshops in and around Cape Town, and is also part of a youth run organization, RYTHM (reaching youth through music) that aims at promoting South African music to the youth.
The Lwanda Gogwana Songbook features musicians from all over Cape Town, some have included Goldfish’s Sakhile Moleshe and young jazz pianist, Bokani Dyer.
Some of the venues and festivals the songbook has appeared in include: The Melting Pot, The New Africa Theatre, The Pan African Space Station festival, V&A Waterfront Amphitheatre and headlining the annual Obz Festival of the Arts in 2010.
The Lwanda Gogwana Songbook received a sponsorship from SABC RBF to record an album, due for release in 2011, it features Jimmy Dludlu, Moreira Chonguica, Buddy Wells, John Hassan, Mthwakazi, Julio Sigauque, Bokani Dyer, Sakhile Moleshe and many more!
Contact info: +27710770188
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/LwandaGogwanaSongbook