Five of the best South African music shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

This article is from 2014.

Five of the best South African music shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

© 2014 Simply Soweto Encha

Featuring Dloko High School Choir, Simply Soweto Encha, Soweto Spiritual Singers and Soweto Afro-Pop Opera

Dloko High School Choir

A 30-strong school choir from Dloko, a poor township on the outskirts of South Africa's second largest city, Durban. They perform on their own in Jabulani, the Zulu word for rejoicing; while Township Voices features gospel, Zulu songs and dance, and collaborations with Scottish stars, including The Voice finalist Anna McLuckie.
Jabulani, St Andrew's & St George's West, 4–11 Aug (not 9 & 10), times vary, £10 (£8); Township Voices, Assembly Rooms, 12–14 Aug, 7.55 pm, £15 (£12).

Simply Soweto Encha

With sharp suits and slick dance moves, this five-piece resembles a classic Motown vocal group. Their a cappella sound draws on African-American traditions, blending soul, gospel, jazz and doo-wop influences with their South African roots. Performing traditional songs from Zulu, Tswana, Xhosa and Swahili cultures, Soweta Encha have become a big hit at the Fringe, using harmony and rhythm instead of props and musicians.
just Festival, until 25 Aug (not 7, 14, 21, 24), times vary, £15 (£13).

Soweto Melodic Voices

A welcome Fringe return for this Soweto choir. Supported by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, members of the choir grew up in poverty and have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS. Resplendent in colourful traditional costumes and make-up, the choir's repertoire ranges from soulful gospel to joyous dance.
just Festival, until 23 Aug (not 6, 10, 13 & 14, 17, 20), times vary, £12 (£10); Greyfriars Kirk, 17 Aug, 11am, free.

Soweto Spiritual Singers

Soweto Spiritual Singers reached an audience of billions after performing with R Kelly at the 2010 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony in Johannesburg. Now the 27-piece choir bring their uplifting gospel sound and dance routines to the Fringe, performing a cappella and instrumental music that blends South African styles with soul, pop and R&B.
Underbelly, Bristo Square, until 25 Aug (not 12), 5pm, £14–£15 (£13–£14).

Soweto Afro-Pop Opera

Soweto Afro-Pop Opera bring a vibrant township style to pop, Motown and African music, and transform classical pieces and operatic arias with South African flair. Accompanied by a string quartet and four-piece band, this versatile ensemble can turn their hand to anything from Miriam Makeba to Puccini.
Underbelly, Bristo Square, until 25 Aug (not 12), 12.55pm, £13–£14.50 (£11–£12).

Comments

1. Cindy Callaghan8 Aug 2014, 1:12pm Report

We saw Dloko High School choir on Monday 5th August. It was a joyous celebration of music and dance which was uplifting and exhilarating. I loved the exuberance and charm of these young singers who put their hearts and souls into the performance.

2. Dee Cole1 Sep 2014, 4:24pm Report

Well they are outside my flat every day busking in Edinburgh and they are awful - they have made my life hell for almost 6 weeks - I have asked then to move and they ignore me - I have to call the police every day to move them on - wasted tax payer cash - but that won't bother them as they don't pay any - can't wait until their visa has run out and they feck off back to their shitty ghetto

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