Themba Dlamini

South African guitarist Themba Dlamini played with Lucky Dube, and is now part of One People Band and singer Berita‘s band.
He participated in the debut album of One People Band, released in 2015 ” The Spirit Of Reggae”. Dlamini returned to his jazz roots with the release of his debut album, Dance II Jazz. The star, who is best known as a member of the mbaqanga groups Abangani and Abakhwenyana, says he has always played jazz. He is also one of the most sought-after session guitarists in the country and has worked in internationally acclaimed music group Sarafina.

“Years ago, record labels would not sign a jazz artist and I ended up drifting from jazz music to work with other artists,” he explains. Born in section R in Umlazi, Dlamini started playing guitar and flute at the age of 10. His promising career made a breakthrough for the better when he began performing at professional shows with Sugar falling when he was only 11 years old. Guitar lessons were given to him by the great Enoch Mthalane and around 1971, he used to play at the Executive hotel in Durban. Two years later he moved to the City of Gold after a frantic search for him by a producer who had seen him play. Themba began working as a session musician.

His skill saw him work with the late West Nkosi, Izintombi Zasi Manje Manje, Ofeleba, Baba Matiwana and Tom Vuma. He, Vuma and Steve Kekana formed a band called The Pages, which broke down a year later in 1981. In 1991, Dlamini recorded a solo album called Mbaqanga Iyinsizwa and later worked with Letta Mbulu and Hugh Masekela. Dlamini also played with Jeff Maluleke Band and South African Jazz. He traveled abroad as a member of Brenda Fassie‘s band for eight years, but left it in 2001. Work on the new album was underway all these years with Ma Brr, though he started putting rails in late 2002 after meeting with Vuma again. Vuma produced the album. The album received a warm reception on the radio waves and tracks such as “Time to share, Sunny Side and Villa Touch attracted a lot of attention.

Dlamini says the title of the album simply means that when you play the album, you will not be moving well: “Rhythm dictates that you should dance.” My style is unique and I was not listening to anyone when I was making the album . The mbaqanga influence also made an impact on his playing style. “This album means freedom for me, because I did what I wanted to do and finally fulfilled my dream of a jazz release.” I’ll never forget the album as it took me to the hearts of people. “Dlamini’s greatest wish for the album is to establish him as a serious artist and dedicated to this refined art form. Guitarist Themba Dlamini has returned to its roots in his latest album, Dance II Jazz …