Jesse Mogale


Jesse Mogale.

Jesse Mogale is a SA born bassist, composer and music educator, from a working class family. His Father was employed by South African Railways, which later became Transnet and his mother was a domestic worker, who played the Lekope (Jaw harp).


He started playing the electric bass in 1978 and the Double bass in 2008. His brother Moses, a guitarist, has been his mentor and a source of inspiration. Jesse comes from a musical family and an environment rich with indigenous multicultural traditional music. Later Ernest Mothle became a valuable source of inspiration as he provided much needed guidance and mentoring.

Jesse holds a BSc (Chemistry) degree from the University of Witwatersrand. He later sacrificed the periodic table for music notes when he decided to leave the mining industry (gold refining) to focus on music performance and providing the much-needed music education to disadvantaged black children in Mamelodi.


Jesse has jammed and performed with musicians like Kippie Moeketsi, Barney Rachabane, Bheki Mseleku, Allen Kwela, Zim Nqawana, George Lee, Vusi Mahlasela, and James Morrison and played with bands like Four Sounds Plus Three.


He co-founded CAFCA[1], with his brother Moss and his continued search for knowledge led to the discovery of the ISB[2]. The ISB journals and his attending of their biannual conventions provided a wealth of information and learning from legends such as Rufus Reid, Ron Carter, Paul Ellison, Glen Moore, Ben Wolfe, John Clayton, etc.



Jesse has performed extensively in major festivals locally and abroad. The performances included musical theatres in venues such as The Market Theatre (Johannesburg), Baxter Theatre (Cape Town), Troppens Theatre (Amsterdam), HIFA[3] (Zimbabwe), the National Arts Festival (Grahamstown), and South African State Theatre.



Forget Me Not, 2000—Moss Mogale Unit

Heritage From An African Continent, 2020—Jesse Mogale

Homeless /child:

Lakutshon’ ilanga:

Nakana Ya Mokhura:

I Remember Bro’ Les & Bro’ Cooper:

Short Stories:

Things Finally Get Better:


Links to Reviews and Articles :


Links to reviews and articles:




  • Nominee for Best Traditional Jazz Album, 2021
  • Outstanding Performance Award with CAFCA Ensemble, Jazz Education Network (JEN), Louisville, Kentucky January 4 -7, 2012
  • Outstanding Performance Award with CAFCA Ensemble, Jazz Education Network (JEN) conference, New Orleans, Louisiana, January 5 -8, 2011
  • Clinician Appreciation Award, JEN Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana, January 5- 8, 2011


Links to Interviews





[1] CAFCA – Committed Artists For Cultural Advancement is a community based, not-for-profit music education organization providing music theory and musical instrument mastery to school going youth in and around the township of Mamelodi, a township in the east of Pretoria.


[2] International Society of Bassists

[3] Harare International Festival of the Arts

ZAPretoria, South Africa
In operation since: 


Jesse Mogale

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