Band offers a freshly ground musical experience

07 October 2002
FUSING various musical styles and influences ranging from traditional African music, through to contemporary jazz, classical and popular music, this distinctive sound and style is setting Cape Town's latest musical ensemble, Freshly Ground, apart from its contemporaries.

The seven-member band, all UCT students, was formed in 2001 but only recently conscripted lead singer Zolani Mahola.

“Whether fate, luck or just plain materialist determinism resulted in all seven of us coming together remains unclear,” ponders Aron Turest-Swartz.

Swartz and Justin Tonkin are the founding members of Freshly Ground and they were thrown together by a need to “check out some tunes”. The band recently featured at the UCT HIV/AIDS exhibition on Jameson Plaza, where they mesmerised the crowd with their eclectic sound that featured Mahola's distinctive vocals.

So far Freshly Ground has played to audiences in and around Cape Town, and has received various invitations to play at a variety of venues and functions in Johannesburg.

“Our primary goal is to cement our status as a group offering a unique musical style unmatched in South Africa,” they proclaim in their press kit.

The band is the regional winners of the 2002 RP Studios Emerging Sounds Competition, and has a growing following in Cape Town, especially in Observatory where it played to a full-house, four nights in a row at the Arm Chair Theatre.

According to group members, future plans also include performing at a wide variety of venues throughout Cape Town, and further afield, in order to gain performance experience and exposure.

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