Azah

Bio

Azah (born Tinyiko Mpho Mphago wa Mabasa) is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer, musical director cultural activist, educator and philanthropist from the South African Jazz capital Mamelodi in Pretoria.

Born onto a family of traditional healers, he began playing drums at the age of 8, and formed a decidedly passionate bond with drums and percussion as not only healing instruments but also as a way of artistic and spiritual expression. Azah pursued musical training at the Musical Theatre of the Tshwane University of Technology and this gave him the traveling future he had dreamed of, seeing him perform across Europe and South America with Gregory Magoma’s Vuyani Dance Theatre productions Ketima and Beautiful Us. He then joined Dr Philip Tabane’s famous band Molombo – a moment he cites as one of the proudest of his life. He then formed Azah, the 8-piece band which continued to grow his musical diversity as a singer and composer by exploring and incorporating genres such as highlife, soukous, jazz, Afro-soul, Afro beat and indigenous folk sounds into a world music offering.

His debut album Batswadi involves musicians from across the continent and brings to the fore common histories, cultures, struggles and spiritual traditions. He went on to receive a SATMA Award for “Best African Jazz Album”. Azah has lent his talents to some of the best-selling Afro pop albums, more notably Thandiswa Mazwai’s Ibokwe and Simphiwe Dana’s Kulture Noir. He also continues to be booked out for musical and theatre shows across the country. Azah was headhunted as the Musical Director for one of the most important stories in the landscape of South Africa’s social narrative. Khwezi – Say My Name is a stage adaptation of The Remarkable story of Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo, a book by Redi Tlapi.

He composed beautiful, soul-stirring music that chronicled her journey of loss, pain, rejection, victory and emancipation which set the
spiritual backdrop to this critically acclaimed, moving play which previewed at the South African State Theatre to packed audiences. For
this, he has been nominated for the 2019 Naledi Award for the Best Original Score. He recently produced and directed a well-received
conceptual concert called in MmaMelodi: The Spirit of Malombo, a multi-disciplinary musical show celebrating Mamelodi’s rich musical
heritage and cultural influence into the global musical landscape.

Cultural Activism – Azah has worked as a facilitator(workshops on different aspects of Indigenous Knowledge Systems) and as researcher
(African diasporic studies, Cultural anthropology and Kemetic Science) at the Theosophical Society. In 2010 he founded a multi-disciplinary socio-cultural movement called Capital Arts Revolution with the aim of fostering Pan African artistic unity. The movement has attracted a multi-national membership of musicians, poets, writers, painters, visual artists, photographers etc. It was followed by Sechaba Sa Rantsho which creates outdoor programmes and camps which connect arts in nature and uses the environment as a reminder of identity and to hold space for exploring cultural issues. This inspired a collaboration with Maibuye, an international organisation through...

Posts

Azah's picture

Azah added 2 new videos

Azah - Famba Live @ Soda Studios
Ngoma dza Mapungubwe
Azah's picture

Azah added 2 new videos

Kora meets Maskandi ft Azah, Nomakounda, Bekhi Khoza, Nthabiseng, El hadji
Azah headlines Fetedela musiquefestivaljhb2022@Nativerebels(Soweto)
Azah's picture

Azah shared a profile

Azah has recently launched his album entitled Ngoma dza Mapungubwe/symphonies of Mapungubwe a reimagined sonic which celebrates the epic civilization of Mapungubwe. An industrous ancient civilization based in Northen part of South Africa.

Videos

Ngoma dza Mapungubwe
Azah - Famba Live @ Soda Studios
Azah headlines Fetedela musiquefestivaljhb2022@Nativerebels(Soweto)
Kora meets Maskandi ft Azah, Nomakounda, Bekhi Khoza, Nthabiseng, El hadji
WAN Africa day festival
27 May 2020
Azah Quarantine Chronicles - The Sacred African Drum Part 1
Azah Quarantine Chronicles 2.1
Azah, Mbuso Khoza and Nduduzo Makhathini
Music language beyond words
31 March 2020
31 March 2020
Azah lecture series on Sentorontoro
Power to the People
Azah Protest
African Ritual Perfomance at AfroSavvy
ZASouth Africa
In operation since: 
2006

Contact

0817209957
0817209957
Azah Mphago

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