Dizu Plaatjies Ibuyambo Ensemble / Lira

Past Dates

Dizu Plaatjies Ibuyambo Ensemble

Dizu Plaatjies, the son of an African traditional healer, grew up in the Cape Town township of Langa. He is a graduate of the University of Cape Town School of Music and now lectures there in African Music. Dizu is the founder and former leader of South Africa’s internationally celebrated marimba group, Amampondo ( JazzFest Berlin 2000). He led the group in many performances from busking as a band of drummers in the streets of Cape Town to concert stages all around the world.

After over 15 years of touring with the group he recorded his first solo album, entitled Ibuyambo. Dizu collaborates with artists from various cultural backgrounds, mixing traditional African instruments and songs with his own original lyrics and melodies, arranging a melody from Zimbabwe for marimbas associated with Mozambique and placing a Congolese choir over the instruments. Or he applies elements of hip-hop and the tongue clicks of the San people, to the rural chant from children’s game. In this way he has created a unique neo-traditional blend of sounds.

The CD was released together with a stage show which features the players performing in his hallmark body paint and featuring dance and costumes inspired by traditional outfits of the peoples of the southern African region.


Lira’s first start in the music career came in 2000, when, just in her 20s, she was punted as South Africa’s newest R&B “starlet”. But far from dwelling on her early mainstream success she is a young woman who thinks deeply about life – and the responsibility of being an artist with a now established fanbase. “My music has to be empowering,” Lira stresses, “I am very, very conscious of that – especially growing up in Africa. I don’t want to bring anything negative into my music yet do that in way that is not preachy.”

Although Lira’s music is frequently described as Afro-Soul, the diversity of her songs make such classifications less easy this time around. “I need the freedom to express myself through my music and so am not bound to a genre when working on an album,” Lira says. “But there is a common thread through the songs and that is that they are honest – the come from my soul.”

Dizu Plaatjies Ibuyambo Ensemble

Dizu Plaatjies trad. African instruments, dance, chant
Thabisa Siphokazi Dinga trad. African instruments, dance, chant
Nceba Gongxeka trad. African instruments, dance, chant
Nicolas Gongxeka trad. African instruments, dance, chant
Dibanisile Tutsu Zoulou guitar, voice, dance


Lira vocals
Joshua Samuel Zacheus drums
Grant Leonard Tregellas guitar
Tshepo Gabriel Sekele bass
Victor Petrus Mngomezulu keyboards
Mphumelelo Dlamini keyboards, sax