IBHUNGA, The Council presents UMANYANO

IBHUNGA, The Council is an emerging contemporary ethno-afro jazz band, based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Convened and conceptualized by Eastern Cape born trombonist, composer, and arranger, Athamacwera Ngcaba, the project explores the convergence of tradition, cultural preservation; identity and other related concepts from the perspective of young musicians navigating the intersection between heritage, city life and modernism.

IBHUNGA seeks to redefine creative spaces; and curate a conscious atmosphere that facilitates a deeper understanding of ‘culture’, explore its relevance, whilst pushing the boundaries of what constitutes and is understood as valid expressions of this. The Council draws its language from multifarious influences including African folk music, contemporary jazz, soul, lo-fi, and Afro-beat to name a few. IBHUNGA was convened out of a desire and acute awareness of the need for a sincere preservation of the archive, and its expression musically, culturally and otherwise.

About the Artists

Athamacwera Ngcaba

Born Athamacwera Ngcaba, Athi is a musician, composer, arranger, educator and curator.


Athi has shared stages with highly acclaimed and prolific jazz musicians of his time. As a trombonist, he draws his sound and style heavily from the Modal and Fusion jazz periods respectively. He is particularly interested in the role of improvised music and identity in African spirituality and storytelling.


Ngcaba has worked alongside South African greats including Afrika Mkhize, Mccoy Mrubata, Khaya Mahlangu, Lex Futshane, Bheki Khoza, Nduduzo Makhathini, Marcus Wyatt, Siya Makuzeni, Mandla Mlangeni, TBMO, Sisonke Xonti, George Werner, Fana Zulu, Adam Glasser (UK), Martin Zenker (Germany); to name a few. He has also been selected for the Standard Bank National Schools’ Big Band and Youth Band respectively, where he worked under James Bassingthwaite and the late Dr. Brain Thusi. 


Athi Ngcaba was born in Mthatha and grew up in East London, South Africa. He attended Stirling Primary and High School, where his love for music was cultivated through various choirs in Primary school; and only later in High School where he started playing trombone. Amongst his High School highlights are playing at the Joy of Jazz, the SAJE conference, National Arts Festival and recording an album with the school band. Ngcaba then went on to study his BMus at Witwatersrand University under Dr. Carlo Mombelli and John Davies. He continued his studies at South African College of Music, UCT, under Prof. Mike Campbell, William Haubrich, Prof. Mike Rossi and Darryl Andrews in the Big Band ensembles.


Whilst in Cape Town, Athi has worked under Prof. Mike Campbell, Prof. Mike Rossi, and Darryl Andrews. He has also worked with the Stellenbosch Medical Orchestra, Sekunjalo EduJazz Big Band, UCT alumni Big Band, The Little Giants; performing at the Baxter Theatre, Artscape, CTIJF, Jazz On The Rocks amongst others. It is in Cape Town where he also started educating, working with schools in Gugulethu and Khayelitsha Townships. Athi then started curating the Drawing Room and The Loneliest Monk jam sessions, in response to the need for inclusive spaces for young musicians to better explore beyond the boundaries of ‘Jazz Standards’.


Athi Ngcaba is currently a freelance musician, working with a number of bands and artists. He is also the founder of IBHUNGA, the Council, an afro-ethno jazz ensemble based in Johannesburg and cofounder of uManyano Lwe Jazz. Athi has recorded with a couple of artists and can be heard on; ‘Indaba Is, Abaphezulu’ and ‘uThixo uKhona’  with iPhupho L’ka Biko, ‘Platinumb Heart, Born in Taxi’ with Msaki, Tefo Mahola’s debut and Mzantsi Award winning album ‘First Offering’ and The World of Birds’ ‘Before The Sun Comes Up’.


  • Venue: Thomas Pringle
  • Location: Monument Building
  • Ticket price: R150.00
  • Programme type: The Fringe
  • Genre: Music
  • Duration: 75 mins
  • Ages: ALL AGES
    • Suitable for All Ages
Thomas Pringle
June 26, 2024 12:00 - 13:15
Thomas Pringle
June 27, 2024 16:00 - 17:15
Thomas Pringle
June 28, 2024 14:00 - 15:15
Thomas Pringle
June 29, 2024 14:00 - 15:15