Nina Simone, Lena Horne, Etta Jones are all huge names in the world of jazz – with their characteristic husky voices.
Durban has its own pint-sized jazz singer in this genre – Zethembiso Mdletshe (better known as Zethe) – who will be performing her smooth sounds as the soundtrack to Valentine’s Evening, Tuesday 14th February, on the ECR stage at Suncoast.
Zethe’s voice is a favourite of jazz-lovers in Durban – she has crooned away in various venues such as The BAT Centre, The Chairman, The Jazzy Rainbow and Alliance Francaise in the city, as well as toured major jazz spots around the country.
“I fell in love with music from about the age of 15 – I think I inherited my voice from my mom, who used to be an opera singer,” Zethe says. “By the time I started varsity I knew that jazz would be my major.”
Her musical influences over time are diverse – anything from Cher and Brenda Fassie to American vocalist Lalah Hathaway and Nigerian French singer Asa.
“If I’m relaxing though, I love nothing better than to put on my headphones and chill to the sounds of British singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Lianne La Havas,” Zethe says.
The Empangeni-born singer – who released a single in October last year – is currently furthering her studies to become a music teacher so that she can forward her love of music to others.
“A dream would be to collaborate, be a supporting act for, or perform with, award-winning artists like Jill Scott or Black Coffee.”
“Zethe’s singing style – smooth Afro/soul/jazz – is perfect for the tone of Valentine’s evening,” says Suncoast Marketing Manager, Louise Howell. “We are sure that her sounds will set the mood for romance and love!”
Zethe appears on the East Coast Radio stage at Suncoast between 6pm and 8pm on Tuesday evening 14th February. Don’t miss her performance. It’s free!