Based: Cape Town
PRAVDA is an energetic, live electronic ‘future jazz’ outfit from Cape Town. With appearances at Rocking the Daisies, The J&B Met, Youngblood Art Gallery and more, the band performs a modernized take on vintage swing jazz and ethnic folk music with a heavy emphasis on dance and improvisation. The band performs using sophisticated electronic music equipment in combination with orchestral instrumentation (violin, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, double bass, guitar, drum kit) to create a totally unique, feel-good live show.
PRAVDA’s sonic palette ranges from the dance-oriented sounds of Jamiroquai and Caravan Palace to the vintage American gospel of The Golden Gate Quartet and Sam Cooke and the big band jazz of Louis Armstrong and Benny Goodman. African and Latin rhythms can be found in the compositions, which play out like a mixture of electro-jazz and world music sounds delivered with a notably original approach.
PRAVDA was formed in Cape Town in 2006, when guitarist John Bartmann began producing a string of self-released EPs, going on to license electronic and orchestral compositions to the South African Broadcasting Commission, DNA Musik (Germany) and theatre company Bard & Troubadour (UK). In 2014, the band evolved to include DJ-clarinettist Zimasa Gysman, who performed with Simphiwe Dana at the Kirstenbosch Summer Concert Series in 2013. Jacques Louw of the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra performed briefly with the band, to be replaced in 2015 by multi-instrumentalist Callan Wolff of Turkish music ensemble Ottoman Slap, seasoned regulars at the annual National Arts Festival. In 2016, the ensemble grew to include Nigerian trumpeter Kolawole Gbolohan and saxophonist Gareth Harvey, who has performed with The Johnny Cooper Orchestra, Crimson House and McCoy Mrubata and at the National Arts and Joy of Jazz Festivals with his own band SAXIT!. Producer-DJ Django Flaherty joined in 2016, with accolades including performances and residencies at Rezonance Festival, Mutha FM, Catacombs and Polana.
Of their music, PRAVDA say, “We’re all fascinated by vintage South African swing jazz and world music. Our debut EP, ‘Modern Folk’, was an experiment in merging gypsy jazz with hip hop and house. The follow-up, ‘Drink Water’ experimented more with soul, salsa and gospel and placed a stronger stronger emphasis on dance. We intend for our music to occupy a popular realm, one that South Africans can enjoy as well as global listeners. This year, we’re focusing on putting on a fantastic live show. Thanks for listening!”
PRAVDA is a truly talented collection of musicians joined at the hip by a rich love for local, contemporary, crossover and world electronic music. Stay tuned for updates relating to performances and releases of their trademark ‘future jazz’ sound.