KWAI-JAZZ, THE SUCCESSFULLY FUSED KWAITO AND JAZZ – Don Laka: The vocal advocate for increasing local music content

Grow, joining an Afro-fusion musical group

Where to find good music in Pretoria? You can try small live music venues, and Jarr Bar is also the perfect venue. Tucked away behind the Botanical Gardens, it is a small venue, the perfect place for a more intimate music-listening experience. Maybe, you too will listen something by Don Laka.

He had role in developing the dance music form known as kwaito. Don Laka, born into a December day 1958 in Mamelodi (Pretoria), is a South African songwriter jazz musician, co-founder of Kalawa Jazzmee. He finished the Royal School of Music on the classical guitar, obtaining his license in high school music teaching.

Apartheid laws prevented him from enrolling at Musical Conservatoire, so he took a job clerking in a store. Joined the Afro group Sakhile, that revolutionised South African music. Before forming his own British-rock influenced band, Don Laka recorded his first hit with Umoja. After living in Germany and playing in a South African Jazz band, he formed an independent record label.

He writing orchestral arrangements, performing his songs at notable venues, also collaborating with Rebecca Malope. His solo career was given a boost with the release of the album Destiny (a fusion of traditional African rhythms and pop), on which he played drums, guitar and soprano sax. In 2013, Don Laka received a Grammy nomination for best world music CD, for Hugh Masekela’s Jabulani album.

If you want to get to know international music scene, you can type The property of the images that appear in this blog correspond to their authors. The sole purpose of this site is to spread the knowledge of these artists and that other people enjoy their works.


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