Kokopelli, one of Canada’s most celebrated youth choirs, is coming to town as part of a four-week tour of South Africa and Swaziland. The choir is set to perform with the NMMU Choir at the NMMU South Campus Auditorium on Monday the 5th of August.
This is the choir’s third visit to Southern Africa, says Kokopelli Artistic Director Scott Leithead. “Africa has been part of Kokopelli’s musical DNA since we began 17 years ago. We perform music from many cultures, but African music holds a unique place in our hearts.”
The tour marks a homecoming for 18-year-old Mxolisi Lindelani Magagula, who has been with Kokopelli on an exchange since January. At the end of this tour, one Kokopelli member will remain in South Africa to spend the rest of 2013 with Magagula’s home choir, the acclaimed University of Pretoria Youth Choir (UPYC).
Canada’s winter weather was a bit of a shock when he arrived in January, laughs Mx, but Kokopelli’s warm embrace instantly made him feel right at home. The connection grew closer when Mx taught the choir some of UPYC’s music with the help of director Lhente-Mari Pitout, who was in Canada in May. “I’ve seen North American and European choirs do African music,” observes Mx. “But I’ve never seen a choir as passionate about it as Kokopelli.”
Passion is a key word when it comes to Kokopelli’s music. The choir has built a worldwide reputation for its vibrant, innovative performances. In addition to its three African tours, the choir has entertained audiences in the U.S, Germany, Norway, Malaysia, Sweden and at concerts and festivals across Canada.
Kokopelli performs on Monday 5 August, at the South Campus Auditorium. The concert starts at 19:00 and tickets are R60 for adults, R50 for pensioners (R25 for pensioners coming in a group of ten or more) and R25 for students.
In the meantime, see Mx lead Kokopelli in the UPYC song “Kwela Kwela”: