Formed in 1994; through the influence of their mother, Kwela Tebza comprises of three brothers Mpho,Tebogo and Tshepo Lerole. This trio forms a portion or rather is the most recent generation from South Africa’s most recognized Kwela family that has put this genre of music (Kwela) on the map.
With an infusion of Sophia Town, South African jazz and a contemporary feel to their music. The pennywhistle; their trademark is what makes this talented group so distinct from the rest.
Born and bred in Diepkloof Soweto, Kwela Tebza is influenced by various things from; pursuing and continuing the legacy of KWELA MUSIC that of their father and his brother, their uncle left behind; to the influence of the country’s heritage.
KWELA MUSIC originated from street corner music comprising of the pennywhistle; at times a guitar and or backing whistles would be used to enhance the sound.
The talented three brothers and their father who have revolutionized kwela music have shared the stage with the likes of Hugh Masekela and Bayete, as well as performed on shows with Boom Shaka, the Soweto String Quartet and popular kwaito groups.
“Kwela music” originated from street corner music comprising of the pennywhistle; at times a guitar and or backing whistles would be used to enhance the sound.
The word "kwela" is derived from the Xhosa word meaning "climb up"; but how the word came about was in the 1950’s when the police would shove people into their vans yelling ‘kwela kwela!’ Later the youth ridiculed the police at the same time warning the community by chanting kwela kwela whenever they spotted police vans.
Formed in 1994, through the influence of their mother, Kwela Tebza comprises of three brothers Mpho (29), Tebogo (27), and Tshepo Lerole (26). The pennywhistle being their trademark makes this band distinctly unique and one of South Africa's musical treasures.
In 2000 the trio released their debut album titled "6 Faces of Dr. Kwela". In 2002 a follow up album was released "The Journey" co-produced by Dumi Dlamini, SAMA 8 nominee for best producer. Starting the album with musical styles from the past and finishing it off with remixed Kwela / dance vibes.
Furthermore the album features acclaimed artists such as Victor Ntoni on string bass, Vusi Khumalo on drums, and the late Allen Kwela on guitar. The journey celebrates kwela music from its natural style and moves on to mixes of Gospel and Afro Jazz.
Kwela Tebza, return in 2007 with a magical new album that once again reclaims their status as the flagbearers of kwela music. Titled "King Kwela", the album is the sound we become accustomed to through albums like "6 Faces of Dr. Kwela" and "The Journey: The Past, Present & Future" but it also represents a significant move on for the group.
Listening to the album, it's difficult not to agree King Kwela sparkles with the group's skilled take on a music form that dates back to the mid-50s when it popularized by the likes of Jack Lerole, the boys' uncle and their father, Elias Shamba Lerole. The song most associated with these Lerole brothers - Tom Hark - is included on King Kwela. Another highlight of the album is a recording of Mpharanyana's legendary song, Hlotse.
This time around it is titled Moratowa and features vocals by none other than legendary South African comic, David Kau. David sounds just like Mpharanyana, it's uncanny, and we are really happy with the way this turned out, reveals Tshepo.
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