Popular Jazz songstress, Amanda Tiffin and internationally acclaimed saxophonist, Shannon Mowday joined forces for the first time for two concerts in Cape Town.
The collaboration was born out of many a conversation between the two Cape Town jazz women who share common experiences in a very male-dominated genre. The idea to join forces was the result of a particularly intense discussion on a plane back from Grahamstown last year. “We had been lamenting the difficulties and complexities of finding the right combination of musical abilities and personalities in one’s band, when Shannon suggested we try collaborating, using favourite musicians from each of our various spheres,” said Tiffin.
Mowday, who was the Standard Bank Young Artists Award winner for Jazz in 2007, is one of the most diverse and sought after performers and recording artists to have emerged out of South Africa. She has been living in Norway for the past couple of years, studying towards her Masters Degree, and working extensively with musicians there. She draws from many influences with seemingly boundless energy and brings it together with purpose and style. Many music critics have applauded her gift of blending jazz with an eclectic mix of African rhythms and folklore. Her music expresses the difficulties and growth of her homeland with a totally honest and fresh approach which is difficult to put in any one genre.
Tiffin is no stranger to Cape Town audiences. She was recently seen with quirky a cappella group Not the Midnight Mass in their show Hot Cross Nuns, which received rave reviews. She has also become a firm favourite with Jazz lovers, both locally and abroad and has been a regular feature on the jazz club circuit in Japan over the last few years.
The two guests from Norway and Sweden are members of Mowday’s current trio. Bass player and composer, Putte Johander lives on the most western situated island in Sweden, "Nordkoster", close to the Norwegian border. He has collaborated with musicians from all over the world and has a great interest in African music, playing in projects with musicians from South Africa, Mali, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. He also runs his own record label, Parallel.
Erik Nylander is a sought-after drummer in Europe. He was born in Sweden and moved to Norway to study, and is now based in Oslo where he works as a freelance musician for several international projects, including Mowday’s trio.