Ubunye header


Website: www.ubunye.co.uk
Based in Leeds. Will travel.
Available for festivals and events throughout 2019 and 2020

Ubunye's crowd

Ubunye (‘one-ness’) unites singers hailing from KwaZulu Natal in South Africa with gospel and Jazz musicians from Leeds, in an inspirational blend of jazz, Isigqi – traditional Zulu music – and Afro-pop. High energy African beats and traditional sounds morph into more contemporary African musical styles. All that and the jazz skills of this established group. Bring it on!

“It’s a soulful, goose bump inducing experience.” – Manchester Jazz Festival

Ubunye Showreel from jazznorth on Vimeo.

Thandanani Gumede
voice and songwriting

Nokuthula Zondi-Kamudyariwa

Xolani Mbatha
baritone voice.

Dave Evans
piano and songwriting

Nik Rutherford

Kenny Higgins

Alex Wibrew


UbunyeExperience the raw power of African voices in harmony; the pounding rhythms of Africa blended with the explosive energy of a live band. This vibrant group of Zulu performers combined with seasoned musicians from the UK mix ancient tradition with contemporary flare. Ubunye deliver a soulful, goose bump inducing performance of original pieces cleverly fused with South African songs. It is a fantastic multi-cultural experience.

"In that moment, it seemed hard to believe that anything so propulsive and joyous could come to a halt. The same could be said about the applause and shouts that followed." - Wakefield Jazz

"Ubunye is a joyous celebration and proof, should it be needed, of the creative energy and unity possible when cultures meet through the medium of music. Rejoicing in their wide-ranging backgrounds, ages and styles, they were a surefire hit with the Manchester Jazz Festival audience, uplifting the soul with their close vocal harmonies, undulating rhythms, and affirmative lyrics, and with a powerful facility to reach and affect listeners far beyond the reaches of jazz." - Steve Mead, Artistic Director, Manchester Jazz Festival

"That was one bad-ass gig and a half! We have had some stonking gigs over the years, some instrumental, some single voice + band, but never choral and instrumental. I don't think it is the uniquity to JATP of Ubunye's line up which persuades me that your gig sits at the top of JATP's "Wow" tree. No! It is placed there by the unanimous and widely-expressed views of high appreciation and broad grins of 70-odd very happy Bradfordian Jazzers afterwards." - Martin Powell - Jazz at the Priestley Bradford

"Ubunye is a must for music lovers – beautiful singing, attractive rhythms and a vibrant presence." - Steve Crocker Jazz Leeds Festival

Ubunye on stage