||Dizu Plaatjies, the son of an African traditional healer, grew up in the Cape Town township, Langa. He is the founder and former leader of South Africa’s internationally celebrated marimba group, AMAMPONDO.
He led Amampondo in performance from busking as a band of drummers on the streets of Cape Town to concert stages from Canada to Taiwan and many lands in between. The group played at the prestigious Edinburg Festival and they wowed crowds at the Mandela Birthday Concert in Wembley Stadium. Their show, Feel the Pulse of Africa ran to packed houses at Johannesburg’s Market Theatre and the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town. The live recording from this show became their first commercial album success, being released in the USA and Europe as well as at home.
After over 15 years of touring and recording with his band he has recorded his first solo album.
On this album Dizu has liberally mixed various traditional African instruments and songs with his own original lyrics and melodies. For example on the title track, Ibuyambo, he has arranged a melody from Zimbabwe for marimbas associated with Mozambique and placed a Congolese choir over the instruments. On Equonce, he applies elements of Hip-Hop music and the tongue clicks of the San people, to the rural chant from children’s game. In this way he has created a unique neo-traditional blend of sounds. He describes the new CD as a musical journey through sub-Saharan Africa.
As teacher and solo performer he has recently visited Scandinavia, Holland and Czech Republic, where his collaboration with local folk artist Jifi Pavlica has made Dizu a major attraction in that country.
He now spends most of his time teaching at the University of Cape Town’s Music College.