Judith Sephuma is a South African jazz and Afro-pop singer who shot to stardom with her debut album , the critically-acclaimed "A Cry, A Smile, A Dance".
In the fifth season of the SABC2 reality dance competition Strictly Come Dancing she was one of the celebrity contestants during September & October 2008 with the assistance of her professional dance partner was Eksteen Traut.
Born and raised in Polokwane (formerly Pietersburg) Judith knew that she wanted to be a singer from an early age. Haveing matriculated at Khagiso High School, she attended Johannesburg's legendary FUBA Academy music school in 1993 attaining her Grade 5 Music Diploma.
Life beyond Polokwane was an ambitious young guitarist who she knew Selaelo Selota, a man who would play a major role in her career. Reaching the finals of Shell Road & Fame contest in 1994, then finals in SABC's Jam Alley Search For Talent that year were her other achievements included.
More significant moves were made to go study music at the University of Cape Town then graduating in 1997 with a Performer's Diploma in Jazz. After that, Judith gained her Honours Degree in Jazz Performance where she majored in Jazz Singing, under the supervision of Prof. Mike Campbell, in 1999. She was also classically trained by Virginia Davids for five years while she studied
She sang at many a cocktail parties and private functions alongside performers namely Jimmy Dludlu, Loading Zone and Ian Smith's Virtual Jazz Reality, as well as musicians such as Jack van Poll and Gerry Spencer. These opportunities to work in bands like (fellow UCT music student) Selaelo Selota's Taola, Meropa, UCT's Big Band, The C-Base Collective and The Cape Symphonic Orchestra made Judith's reputation as a vocalist blossom during her years in the Cape.
Two months on the Symphony cruise ship was an invite by Spencer JUDITH SEPHUMA had to honor to travel and visit exotic places like Bazaruto, Mauritious, Zanzibar, Mombasa, and Reunion. That same year she performed, with the band Meropa, in Nantes, France at the Fin de Siecle Festival - her first overseas visit 1998/1999 with the assistance of pianist van Poll, Judith gained much experience performing in Europe, and among her gigs was being invited by the South African government to perform in Holland for the Mandela's Children Trust Fund.
Having previously entered a number of music competitions, a pivotal moment came when Judith was awarded first prize for Best Jazz Vocalist at the Old Mutual Jazz Into The Future competition in June 1999 and she was signed to (then) BMG Africa’s imprint, Giant Steps, shortly afterwards. At the North Sea Jazz Festival in Cape Town in 2000, Judith formed her own backing band and performed under her own name and in 2001 she recorded her debut, A Smile, A Cry, A Dance.
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