South African saxophonist and flute player Mthunzi Mvubu tuned into musical career under the mentorship of the late Dr.Johnny Mekoa at the tender age of 14 at the Music Academy of Gauteng (MAG). He toured with the MAG Jazz orchestra worldwide in Sweden,England,Russia,Germany,the USA and many more. He will soon launch his debut album he is currently working on.
Undoubtedly the most recorded saxophonist he has appeared in over 11 albums
- He has performed and recorded with Lionel Loueke and Shabaka Hutchings
- He was part of a band that accompanies Kevin Mahogany and Everest Greene, prominent American jazz vocalists.
Mthunzi was part of the horn section backing legendary groups like the O’ Jays when they toured South Africa at the Standard bank joy of jazz festival. He was also part of the horn section accompanying legends like the Temptations and Clarence Carter
He has shared international performance stages with the finest musicians including the likes of Abdullah Ibrahim, Themba Mkhize, (the late) Victor Ntoni, Omar Sosa, Nduduzo Makhathini ,Feya Faku, Tsepo Tshola, Jason Yarde,Musa Manzini , Jimmy Dludlu , Jonas Gwangwa and Herbie Tsoaeli to name a few.
Recently he was part of musicians accompanying Steve Turre at the Tshwane International Big Band Festival amongst others. Mvubu has also been touring Europe and USA with Shabaka and The Ancestors.
Meet #CreatePreneurAfrica – South Africa’s soul saxophonist Mthunzi Mvubu
Tell us what drives you? What is your true passion in life?
The gift of life and the awareness that one can be a better human being in this ever so changing the world where love takes a back seat. My true passion is music, I live for it and it gives me life.
How did you find your passion and how old were you?
I would like to think that it found me, I was 13yrs old when my mother bought a keyboard for my late elder brother but he wasn’t really interested in learning it.
So I became attracted to this thing and the sounds that came out of it.My mother saw this and she took me to the Music Academy of Gauteng wich was led by the late great Dr. Johnny Mekoa
What about your passion appeals to you the most?
The healing side of it and the endless possibilities and frequencies you can reach through constant exercise, the dedication of being in the moment.
What drove you to make money from your passions?
Well in every chosen path one chooses to take, there is an industry for it one way or another. Money found me along the way.
When was the first time you were paid for your passion?
The first time I was paid was in high school when I started playing gigs with the school big band, but when I REALLY got paid well, was still in high school and I got to perform with Tsepo”The Village Pope” Tshola in a theater production that went on for 3weeks.
What kept you going when you thought about giving up?
I had to dig inside every time and believe that things would work out if I worked hard and seeing other older people who I had the chance to work with at a young age “making it”, I was revived.
What motivates you every day to be even more successful?
Well again its all the endless possibilities that this music has, the joy it brings and of course, my family.
What do you have to say to all of the people who doubted you?
I have nothing to say to them. It would be a total waste of energy.
What advice do you give to aspiring creatives who look up to you?
I say keep working hard and never stop learning to advance what you want to say with your craft.