Themba MkhizeYou’ve probably heard the music of Themba Mkhize countless times without even realising it, so prolific is the work of this local Durban talent! Before starting his solo career in 1999, Themba had performed with many of SA’s great, including the legendary Hugh Masekela, Sibongile Khumalo and Miriam Makeba, to name just a few. In fact you can hear Themba’s piano keys going in one of Hugh Masekela’s most famous performances, when he recorded his album ‘Hope‘ live in Washington DC’s Blues Alley in 1993. But Themba’s talent extends beyond his passion for jazz, and his skill at blending local Zulu sounds with a genre that’s typically associated with African-American parentage. In addition to being an award-winning musician, Themba  also owns Mavovo Production Studios, and co-owns Thella Music with his partner, Stella Khumalo.

So not only has Themba played alongside many of our countries musical giants, but he’s also swapped hats and directed a good number of them too, including Hugh Masekela and Miriam Makeba’s European and USA tour. And if that weren’t enough Themba’s also made a point of sharing his passion through music workshops – something that he’s clearly very good at, given that his own son has followed in his footsteps. Afrika Mkhize, Themba’s son, was awarded the prestigious Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year for Jazz in 2012.

It’s no surprise then, that Themba was the recipient of an eThekwini Living Legend Award. Not often do you come across someone who’s able to mix business and art so successfully, and with such integrity.

Click here to read more about the impressive story of Themba Mkhize, along with the rest of our 2014 Living Legends.

Image courtesy of Disovery-records.com.