Marimba Band - Cape Town


Abavuki are a powerful African Jazz outfit from Langa, Cape Town and have been playing their infectious afro-beat marimba grooves since 2001. The eight members in the group, all multi-instrumentalists, are influenced by kwaito, samba, jazz and traditional rhythms, which they translate within a modern format, using marimbas, percussion and brass instruments.

The Xhosa name “abavuki” means ‘Wake up, early birds!’ and this attitude is palpable in Abavuki’s high-energy, uplifting music that not only reflects their youth, but their optimistic outlook on life and their approach to music-making.

Their vibrant reinterpretation of marimba music, with overlaid brass instruments, is a funky addition to the genre, and resounds because it is testimony to the resilience of South Africans and the redemption the country has found in music in its path to reconciliation.

Members: Andile Makubalo, Bongani Ngesi, Thando Sishuba, Thulani Mtyi, Miyo Sakabula, Sabu Jiyana, Kim Masala & Gaz Matsila



Career Achievement Highlights:

  • Performed at the Voorkamerfest, Darling 2015
  • Completed two-month tour of Europe (June-Aug 2015), where they performed at the following festivals :
    • Ethno Port, Poznan, Poland
    • Respect Festival, Prague, Czech Rep
    • Oerol, Terschelling, the Netherlands
    • Houtfestival, Haarlem, the Netherlands
    • Fusion-Festival, Larz, Germany
    • Afrikafestival, Hertme, the Netherlands
    • Zomer van Antwerpen, Belgium
    • Colours of Ostrava, Czech Rep
    • Okarina Etno Festival, Bled, Slovenia
    • Festival der Kulturen, Augsburg, Germany
    • Folk Holidays, Náměšť nad Oslavou, Czech Rep
    • Bardentreffen, Nürnberg, Germany
  • Selected to perform at Womex2014 and Visa For Music 2014
  • Performed at Rocking the Daisies 2013
  • Part of the “Africa Connect” festival 2013
  • Performed at the World Music festival in Cape Town 2012
  • Resident band for 2 months on the Viking Line ferry between Sweden and Finland - 2010
  • Featured in BBC4 documentary with Midge Ure (ex Ultravox) – 2009
  • Commissioned to record “Africa got Soul” to celebrate Motown’s 50th anniversary – 2009


  • Decade - 2012
  • Africa got Soul - 2009
  • Live in China – 200
  • African Rhythms – 2004



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