January 18, 2024
Time: 7:00PM & 9:00PM
Venue: The Century Room
Address: 311 E Congress St
Zipcode: 85701
State: AZ
Melanie Scholtz and Aaron Rimbui-TJF2024

Thursday, January 18, 2024
The Century Room – 7:00pm & 9:00pm

Melanie Scholtz
About The Artist  

Melanie Scholtz is a South African-born, multi-award-winning jazz singer and composer. She started playing the piano from the age of 5 and went on to study Opera at The University of Cape Town Opera School where she graduated Cum Laude with a Performer’s Diploma in Opera in 2000.

She has released five successful solo albums and has won many awards; In 2010, Melanie was named the Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz and in 2012, and won all three prizes at the prestigious Jazz Revelations competition as part of the Jazz a Juan Festival in Nice, France.

Melanie was also chosen to be a featured artist in The Great South African Songbook Tour from September 2019- Feb 2020 with Wynton Marsalis and The Jazz at Lincoln Centre. She was featured in New York, Chicago, Johannesburg, and Vienna.

Her collaboration with Anti-Apartheid activist and poet James Matthews called Freedom’s Child, brought to light the struggles of Apartheid and how by fusing music with these iconic poems, helped them reach a new generation of South Africans.

Melanie has performed all over the world including her native country, South Africa, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, France, Italy, Norway, Sweden and the United States. She has performed alongside Kurt Elling at the Joy of Jazz Festival in Johannesburg in 2012, with the Cape Town Philharmonic alongside the late Hugh Masekela in 2015 and jammed alongside Bobby McFerrin at the Anjazz Jazz Festival in Norway in 2011.

She released a new bass and voice record with Norwegian bass player Jo Fougner Skaansar, called Kindred, under the Grappa label in Feb 2022.

Melanie has just recorded a new record with the great Nancy Wilson as a muse in New Orleans in February of this year. Co-produced by artistic director and drummer Adonis Rose, the record is to be released in September of this year.

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About The Artist

The spirit and legacy of Miriam Makeba’s genre-defying pan-African genius continues in the inspired works of South African vocalist Melanie Scholtz and Kenyan pianist Aaron Rimbui.  A project that weaves together iconic works associated with Makeba alongside originals by Scholtz and by Rimbui, offers a wide-ranging view into modern African music. Straight-ahead Jazz gives way to live looping effects and prepared piano in a performance that honors Makeba’s music while also embracing a new path forward for contemporary African music.

A Cape Town native, Melanie Scholtz has been a major artist on the South African scene since the early 2000s, releasing five acclaimed albums, working with jazz legend and Miriam Makeba’s one-time husband Hugh Masekela, and touring the world with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in 2019.

A timeless artist and towering figure Nelson Mandela called “South Africa’s first lady of song,” Miriam Makeba was pivotal in bringing African music to a Western audience and was a symbol of resistance to minority white rule in South Africa during apartheid.

Aaron Rimbui
About The Artist  

Dubbed “the greatest pianist in East Africa” by the major African newspaper Daily Nation, Kenyan multi-instrumentalist and composer Aaron Rimbui is a rising force on the international scene, having collaborated with a global roster of major artists including Deitrick Haddon, Bobby Ricketts, Emmanuel Jal, Suzanna Owiyo and Eric Wainaina. He’s released five superb albums and was music director of the wildly popular East African reality competition show Tusker Project Fame.