Titi Luzipo presents ‘Songs my Mother Told Me’ in Port Elizabeth


Titi Luzipo. Photo: Lindo Mbhele

In association with Concerts SA, Titi Luzipo presents the closing leg of her national tour of Songs My Mother Taught Me – a celebration and remembrance of the songs she learnt from her mother, Vuyelwa Qwesha – in her hometown Port Elizabeth.

“It has always been my dream to relive my mother’s songbook while she is still alive so that she may witness the wealth I have through her. It was then that I realised that I am my mother. She is my future and I am her past. Her songbook had become alive again and has helped many others realise their inner melodies. Her song book has become a living legacy,” Titi says.

As part of this leg of her tour, Titi will be doing two shows: at Port Elizabeth’s Opera House and at Dopparoz. She will be joined on stage by her brother Barlo Luzipo on piano, Grant Allison on bass, Sakhi Nompozolo on drums, and SA’s best producer, Lawrence Matshiza, on guitar. These shows in Port Elizabeth will feature a very special guest performer: Vuyelwa Qwesha, Titi’s mother. For details see below:

  • Thursday, August 18 at 7 pm: Dopparoz, corner of Maqanda and Stofile Streets, KwaZakhele, Ibhayi, Port Elizabeth. Entry is free. Bookings: 062 613 2359 or email info@dopparoz.co.za
  • Sunday, August 20 at 7 pm: Opera House, Whites Road, Port Elizabeth. Tickets R70 (single) and R120 (couple) at 041 585 1300 or email cingiwe.skosana@gmail.com

Born in a well-schooled family about music, it was the combination of her talent, her focus, her jazz performance BMus from UCT as well as her performing arts qualification from UWC that led the Port Elizabeth-born Titi to this point of her career in jazz.

“My mother was not as liberated as I am. She had no freedom. The apartheid regime limited their expressions in song and resulted to scarce performances. The aim of Songs My Mother Taught Me is to bring alive those songs which could not be sung and relive the moments shared by those before us and celebrate them as heritage,” she says.

Titi’s mother – Vuyelwa Qwesha Luzipo – is a renowned jazz brand who came to fame in the 70s as lead singer of The Soul Jazzmen, one of the greatest jazz bands of the time, which featured greats such the late Zim Ngqawana, Winston Mankunku Ngozi, Feya Faku, Tete Mbambisa and many others.

“When she realised that I was starting to take after her musically she taught me all the songs she used to sing in her days,” Titi said. “This was the beginning of great things for me – I couldn’t understand the melody at the time but it spoke to the sentiments of my heart.”

Songs My Mother Taught Me is self-explanatory. It highlights the greatness of our wealth in our past. I’ve always had a heart for South African music and celebrating the legacy and heritage thereof. That is the aim and the reason why I would like to grow it further: the education in the South African music history.

“Whilst researching my mother’s favourite tunes and those she sang in her day, I started to equip myself in knowledge of this music and have always had the desire to share it with an audience. I have absorbed great rich information that could be celebrated and known by generations to come.

“That’s why as part of this tour I hope to host workshops for people and mostly children from disadvantaged schools and villages, empower them with this history and later demonstrate it with my band.”

Titi Luzipo’s Songs My Mother Taught Me tour is supported by the Music Mobility Fund, a funding mechanism administered by Concerts SA which offers opportunities for South African musicians to undertake live music tours.

Concerts SA is a joint South African/Norwegian initiative housed under the auspices of the stakeholder hub within the SAMRO Foundation; it receives financial, administrative and technical support from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the SAMRO Foundation and Concerts Norway.

The project aims to support live music in South Africa by finding and implementing ways to create a vibrant and viable live music circuit. It also aims to develop an interest in and appreciation of live music by showcasing music performances and conducting workshops at schools.


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