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Latest Incarnation for Transgressions 2019

Ahsan Ali
Born in a traditional musical family of Kirana Gharana, a family of legends, Ahsan
Ali is the seventh generation of his family. The intensive training, he had when he
was only seven years old under his father Ustad Asif Ali khan has stood him in
good stead, and he is presently regarded as one of the leading sarangi players of
the younger generation. He has received accolades for his solo performances as
well as an accompaniment to many noted vocalists, musicians and tabla players.
Ahsan Ali is also a singer and composer at his own Sarangi project called the
Ahsan Ali & The Sarangi Sutra. He blends this traditional instrument in Jazz,
fusion, trance, electronic, Sufi, symphony, and many other styles of music.


Brydon Bolton
Brydon is a virtuoso double bassist, music educator, sound artist, curator of music
and sound events, composer of contemporary classical music, and a sound
designer for dance and theatre performances. Brydon’s performing and
composing ability, from the romantic to the atonal, made him an essential cog in
the distinctive sound of the Insurrections project.


Sumangala Damodaran

Singer extraordinaire, composer and economist. Classically trained in Carnatic
and Hindustani music, she has spent the last decade collecting the musical
compositions of India’s anti-colonial and working-class music from a tradition
known as the Indian People’s Theatre Association. She has sung and composed
for the theatre, is currently composing music for the poetry of Faiz Ahmad Faiz
and has completed her book on the aesthetics of the “Radical Impulse”. It was
her meeting with South African poet Ari Sitas that started the Indo-African
collaboration of Insurrections.


Kathyayini Dash 
Kathyayini is a visual artist, musician and researcher. Employing interdisciplinary
methods of inquiry, her work spans across theory and practice. She
has been drawing from multiple sources and seeks to fashion improbable
combinations by pulling things together, to create compositions that are
immersive and contemplative. Her visual work is located at the edges of
installation and performance. She is now working within the community field of
affect studies that encapsulate the crossroads of history, sociology, performance
and the visual arts. Among places that she has performed her work are the
Serendipity Arts Festival Goa (Goa, 2018), the Art reach Festival (Delhi 2017) and
Kochi Muziris Biennale (Kochi 2016).


Sazi Dlamini
Sazi is the founder of SKOKIANA, an extended township music
performance project active since 1991 involving small and big band ensembles,
and for which he composes music reflecting his diverse sources of influence.
These include jazz, popular and traditional music of Africa and the world.
Primarily a guitarist, he has recorded many original pieces of music employing
self-made, indigenous Nguni and other African musical instruments. Besides
involvement in all Insurrections incarnations his composition, performance and
collaborative credits include Jiwe [2010], Ikhaya on Wooden Shoes [2010],
Skokiana [2011], Insurrections: a musical dialogue between South African and
Indian artists [2012], Makhalafukwe [2013], Mayihlome/Ahwaan [2014],
Qob’uqalo [2014], Co-awardee: NIHSS Book, Creative and Digital Collections
Award [2016], Recipient: Ethekwini Municipality’s Living Legends Award [2016],
and Skokiana debut album release Skokiana [2017]. Sazi Dlamini is presently a
lecturer and music researcher at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban.


Nomakrestu Xakathugaga
Nomakrestu is an indigenous contemporary African musician/
actress. She is the 2017 Zabalaza Theatre Festival Best Actress winner. She uses
various Africa instruments such as uhadi along with the beautiful sounds of
umngqokolo (throat singing). Nomakrestu Xakathugaga is an African
Contemporary Musician, who started singing in Alshadal Christian Ministry Choir
from 2006 till 2011. In 2012 she decided to go and enhance her skills in Rainbow
Arts Organization (RAO) under the leadership of the late Luvuyo Gaji. Over the
years, she has performed around the world doing acting and music performances.


Reza Khota
Reza was born in Johannesburg and was introduced to the guitar by his
father in the 80’s. He began his formal training with Jeremy Karodia at the age of
ten, studying rock and classical guitar as well as chord theory. He later studied
classical guitar and improvisation with Faizel Boorany, who fired his enthusiasm
for experimental jazz, the classical avant-garde and progressive guitar music.
After enrolling for his B.mus degree at Wits University, he furthered his classical
guitar studies under David Hewitt. During this time Reza received master-classes
from Norwegian guitarist Vegard Lund and the Austrian crossover
guitarist/composer Helmut Jasbar. He has been a recipient of several important
awards, including numerous Samro bursaries and merit awards. For more
information, please visit

Thokozani Nsibande
Thokozani is an African Indigenous instrumentalist from Daveyton, a
township located in the East of Johannesburg. He started his music career as a
student at Sibikwa Arts Centre centre in 2003, as part of their Saturday Arts
Academy. In 2009 he was selected to join the Sibikwa Arts African Indigenous
Orchestra. The Orchestra toured a number of international countries, as well as local cities, with Thokozani as orchestra leader, a position given to him at the age of 20. Thokozani has developed into a talented young musician with a maturity far beyond his years. In 2012 he ventured as a freelancing musician, specializing in percussions and African indigenous instruments. He has worked with the likes of Tlale Makhene, Themba Mkhize, McCoy Mrhubatha, Luyanda Sidiya as well as other theater makers and musicians as a Percussionist, composer, music arranger and African Indigenous musician.


Tina Schouw
Tina is a singer, songwriter, guitarist and author who performs extensively locally and internationally. She has produced and staged her own shows, as well as collaborated with various artists on different productions in South Africa. Her music draws on an eclectic blend of styles including, folk, jazz, Latin and contemporary. She grew up in a jazz family. Her father was one of the Cape’s legendary guitarists and Tina has been exploring the Khoisan, and Slave roots of music whilst becoming one of the main voices of the mass democratic movement of the 1980s. She has released three CDs one of which is a remarkable children’s compilation.


Garth Erasmus
Garth is a visual artist who came by music-making via a circuitous route in his late twenties. Originally from the Eastern Cape, he is a member of Khoi Khonnexion and plays multiple self-made instruments inspired by KhoiSan heritage.


Ari Sitas
Poet, dramatist and sociologist. Ari is a vital force in South Africa’s cultural life. It was his poetry, especially Slave Trades, and its musical texture, that convinced Sumangala that something could be done between the two countries. Ari, often in Delhi, met the innovators of modern Indian music, the sufi philosopher and performer Madan Gopal Singh, the guitarist Susmit Sen, the poets and dramatists of Delhi and threw his energy into this collaboration. He has just launched his new work, The Vespa Diaries, in Johannesburg.


Pritam Ghosal
Pritam is one of India’s finest classical sarod players who has regaled his audiences extensively in India and abroad. He has learnt this art from none other than the Sarod Maestro, Ustaad Amjad Ali Khan. Pritam’s mastery of the instrument and high level of maturity in his craft has elicited effusive praise. Pritam has performed with the noted sufi singer Dr. Madan Gopal Singh extensively and also founded a Jazz trio named 'One on One' in collaboration with the eminent guitar player Mr. Deepak Castelino.

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