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Lisette Spinnler and Julie Fahrer

South Africa | Music

June — Music

Jazz vocalists Lisette Spinnler and Julie Fahrer will be on a research residency this June and wish to explore South African vocal traditions and engage with both students, professional and lay singers in the Eastern Cape sharing and jointly revisiting their own compositions.  They will be accompanied by drummer  Michi Stulz and pianist Sebastian Hirsig, who will engage with South African musicians, and develop or deepen their understanding of South African jazz traditions.


With Andile Yenana: Umnqgonqgo Wabantu, Sunday 1 July 12:00, DSG Auditorium

Way of Dancing, Sunday 1 July 22:00, DSG Auditorium

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This project builds on several previous Pro Helvetia supported exchange projects and is motivated by the encounters of Spinnler, Fahrer and  Stulz with various South African artists who visited Basel in the past few years. Fahrer first joined a project of Carlo Mombelli in 2012 during his Basel residency and then in 2016 organised the One Voice Vocal Ensemble recording with Nduduzo Makhathini the award-winning album Inner Dimensions. Spinnler was also part of this One Voice Vocal Ensemble and like Fahrer joined Nduduzo and Omagugu Makhathini for their 2017 Basel performances. Stulz performed with Andile Yenana in 2016 during his short research visit and again in 2017, when they recorded Andile Yenana’s new album.

King Williams Town

6 July, Steve Biko Centre

The two will perform with Nduduzo Makhathini and give workshops at the Grahamstown Jazz Festival and then at the Music Department of Fort Hare in East London before proceeding to Durban.

Spinnler, one of Switzerland’s well-know vocalists,  teaches at the Jazzcampus Basel. She is known for her unique scatting style in an invented language. A research visit to West Africa has had a lasting influence on her music. Fahrer graduated from the Jazzcampus Basel in 2014. She teaches vocals and percussion and leads a choir at the Jazzcampus Basel.


18 July, UKZN Centre for Jazz and Popular Music

Stulz trained with the New York Drummers Collective in 1998 and then continued his studies at the Jazz Schools of Lucerne and Freiburg. In 2005 he trained with various drummers in West Africa.  Sebastian Hirsig studied at the Jazzcampus Basel and today teaches at the Möriken music school. Besides his own projects he performs with Die Skeptiker, Chimera’s Taste, Duo Julie&Sebu, Julie Fahrer Quintet and Anarkoflamenco.

After an intensive ten days in Grahamstown, they teach at the University Of Fort Hare Music Department hosted by pianist Nduduzo Makhathini and on 9 July will do a workshop with singers from Ngqoqo. They will also give a workshop at Stirling High before presenting the outcome of their weeklong engagement in a concert at the Department on Saturday 14 July.

The last week of their residency programme will see them in Durban and Port Shepstone where pianist Andile Yenana will host them. They will be involved in workshops at the TVET Gamalakhe campus and also be featured in four concerts  with the Andile Yenana Sextet (Marcus Wyatt, Linda Sikhakhane, Siyasanga Charles, Ariel Zamonski, Michi Stulz) from 18-21 July.



Way of Dancing DSG Auditorium, Sunday 1 July 22:00, R95
Julie Fahrer (voice – CH), Lisette Spinnler (voice – CH), Thandi Ntuli (piano), Shane Cooper (bass), Peter Auret (drums)

Andile Yenana: Umnqgonqgo wabantu DSG Hall Sunday 1 July 12:00
Andile Yenana, Linda Sikhakhane , Marcus Wyatt , Kyle du Preez , Christoph King-Utzinger, Michi Stulz

Nduduzo Makhathini: Ikhambi with One-Voice Vocal Ensemble DSG Hall, Thursday 5 July 20:30, R95
Nduduzo Makhathini (piano), Linda Sikhakhane (sax), Nhlanhla Radebe (bass), Ayanda Sikade (drums), Omagugu Makhathini (voice), Julie Fahrer (voice – CH), Lisette Spinnler (voice – CH)

East London
14 July, 19:00-20:30h, Concert presentation at University of Fort Hare Music Department

18 July, Concert at the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music, University of KwaZulu-Natal
19 July, 18h, Concert at the Jazzy Rainbow
20 July, 18h, Concert for the Jazz Expressions Appreciation Society, Waterfront Hotel
21 July, 18h, Concert and Jam for the Jazz Expressions Appreciation Society (private session)

All artists will participate in giving workshops and teaching at the Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Festival from 28 June to 1 July.