Halala! ILAM’s 70th Birthday Celebration Concert

The International Library of African Music (ILAM), established in 1954 by Hugh Tracey and based at Rhodes University, is the oldest African music archive on the continent.  This year ILAM is 70, and presents this concert in celebration, featuring a range of musics on the African continent, including music from Lesotho, Mozambique and the Eastern Cape. 

ILAM has a large collection of all kinds of African music, from traditional to jazz, a large collection of African instruments and a large collection of Africana books. Its recordings have inspired generations of students, scholars and musicians from all parts of the globe. ILAM is engaged in ongoing research on the music of southern Africa through projects dealing with the heritage of traditional music and the jazz music heritage of the Eastern Cape. It is a leader in the digitization of old music formats such as shellac records and reels, and it is the most advanced music archive on the continent as it produces numerous research outputs, including an accredited academic journal also established in 1954. ILAM is also the main centre for Ethnomusicology in southern Africa. There is certainly a lot to celebrate.


Sotho Sounds:

This music from Lesotho is known as 'Famo' music, which is a blend of traditional instruments and 'rap-type' vocals, often sung in 'deep' Sesotho. The distinctive strong bass rhythm and an accordion (known as koriana in Sesotho) melody are its distinctive musical hallmark, at least in rural areas. Dancing is an integral part of it, and the audience is generally expected to listen. It is generally only performed by men, but there are a few female 'Famo' artists. Performers wear traditional Basotho blankets, gumboots and hats, and carry traditional fighting sticks 'melamu'. The music has a long history related to working on the mines.


Timbila Groove Band:

Established in 2020, Timbila Groove is a band based in the city of Inhambane, in northern Mozambique. It is composed of 5 members. Rui and Venancio Bande, the founders of the band, are sons of Venâncio Mbande, a renowned master of the timbila music whose recordings can be found on the ILAM website. Some of their compositions are interpretations of traditional timbila music, which are portrayed in a contemporary context, mixing the guitar, piano and drums with timbila. Other compositions are interpretations of the vast Chopi musical repertoire. The group performs regularly in the City of Inhambane and in some cases, in Maputo. Some of the most important performances took place at the Tofo Festival, in 2022; a concert at Gil Vicente in 2022; a Timbila Festival in 2022 and 2023; the National Culture Festival, in 2023 and a concert at 16NetO, in 2023.





Production Credits

Sotho Sounds

Khothatso Ranoosi - Band Leader

Paseka Mohale - Drummer

Ralichaba Tjaoena - Singer/Dancer      

Rakotsoana Hoko - Singer/Dancer

Tankiso Pita - Singer/Guitar


Timbila Groove Band

Venâncio Bande Junior - instrument

Cristovao Pinto - instrument

Jeronimo Buque - instrument

Horacio Venâncio Bande - instrument

Abel Jovo - instrument


Ngqoko Women's Ensemble

Nofirst Lungisa

Nomtyhatyha Mdini

Nomfuneko Qandashe

Nomasisi Mdini

Nomthunzi Magobotiti

Nolindile Mgxotheni

Mantombini Mdini

Notest Ngozi

Lindeka Dubula

Nophumzile Mdini

Vuyiswa Yedwa

Weziwe Phangiso

Nokuthula Gwebula

Nomsangaphi Mdini

Nothobeleni Qotsi

  • Venue: Thomas Pringle
  • Location: Monument Building
  • Ticket price: R120.00
  • Programme type: Curated Programme
  • Genre: Music
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Ages: ALL AGES
Thomas Pringle
June 21, 2024 19:30 - 21:30