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Vuma Levin

Born a South African and raised during the unstable interregnum years of Post-Apartheid South Africa, Guitarist Vuma Ian Levin's music is an attempt to interrogate conceptions of identity, nation, culture, power and being both globally and in the emergent, post 1994 South African Democratic project.

First picking the guitar up at 14, Levin later received lessons from the South African Jazz guitar legend, Johnny Fourie. He completed a National Diploma at the Tswane University of Technology going on to be presented with the best Guitarist Award (2008). In 2009, Levin was selected as the guitarist in the Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Band, led by Feya Faku, which culminated in a performance at the Grahamstown Jazz Festival and later at the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz Festival. Never one to shy away from a challenge, he went on to attend the prestigious Conservatorium Van Amsterdam where he graduated cum laude and earned the Non-EU Talent Scholarship to finance his masters study. In 2014 his quintet, won the 2nd prize in the National Leg of the Keep an Eye Awards (Netherlands). He went on to win the 3rd prize, incentive prize and prize for the most original band in the international leg of the Keep an Eye Jazz Awards, which featured bands from New York, Helsinki, Amsterdam, Vienna and Philadelphia.

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”Vuma Levin is destined to be one of South African jazz’s greatest musicians” —Sihle Mthembu (Mail & Gaurdian)

“He’s an eclectically cutting edge, aesthetically refreshing new addition to the contemporary African jazz scene. He’s the personification of these exciting times for Africa and Africans around the globe. Watch out Kamasi Washington, Vuma Levin’s in the building.” —Edward Kgosidintsi (Afro Punk)

“This album stands out, not only by virtue of the technical triumphs in everything from musicianship to the recording quality, but also because of the nuance and poignancy of its message elegantly delivered in a hybrid aesthetic of head and heart thinking as one.” —Gerrit Strydom (The Conmag)

“Levin’s compositions, lyrical without words, poignant, soothing while paradoxically discomfiting, tender without masking harsh dimensions of reality, transitioned through contrapuntal reminders, musical Morse code, demands not only listening but also re-listening.” —Lewis R

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