Welcome!  The music and dance of the South African Food & Wine Festival are two elements that make this event truly remarkable.  “The South African Food & Wine Festival is by far the best wine festival in the state of Virginia” says Ryan Adams of The Country Vintner. This is one of the many accolades we’ve received over the years - due in no small part to the amazing talents of the performers who converge on central Virginia each year from places near and far to share their vision of South Africa through music and dance. 

Sduduzo

Sduduzo Ka-Mbili - choreographer, radio producer, JUXTAPOWER director.  Sduduzo Ka-Mbili is a radio producer (WBAI 99.5FM/SAR FM), former dancer, and current choreographer and director of JUXTAPOWER (South Africa's Song & Dance) in New York City. Before he came to America, Sduduzo Ka-Mbili was a member of Jackie Semelaā’s Soweto Dance Theater, and Adele Blankā’s Free Flight Dance Company with which he toured the world extensively. Sduduzo is also a former student at Alvin Ailey School in New York and he is proudest at his culturally diverse troupe members, who represent the face of South Africa.

Ziya Studio
Ziya is a South African pioneering musician who has been in the music industry for well over two decades. Her
compositions resonate with mysteriously fresh sounds that revolutionize Afrikaans music. Ziya's work is an unusual blend of styles, in stark contrast to commercially formulated music on the shelves, Her authentic sound and artistic performances are unlike the status quo unorthodox and intriguing. She captivates listeners from across many different subcultures and generations with a multifarious fusion of eclectic musical ideas.
 
Born in 1979 in Welkom, South Africa, she started her career at the young age of seven, receiving classical training with piano as her main instrument. Read more about Ziya.

 

 
Tuelo and Her Cousins

Experience the soulful, blues/rock rhythms of Brooklyn-based band Tuelo & Her Cousins.  Read more about them below.

Tuelo Minah

Tuelo Minah - Vocals, Guitar  Tuelo Minah is a unique musician who brings her native South African sound to the pace of rock, and blues. She is accompanied by her guitar, and belts out songs that remind her of her childhood. She started her career as a backup singer for Hugh Masekela, Lebo M(Lion King composer), in New York city, and she is now one of the voices heard in Angelique Kidjo's current album OYO. She was also music director for Juxtapower S.A. Dance and Song and has recently undertaken the task as music director of her own band Tuelo & Her Cousins, writing, singing and playing her own music. Her main influences are from South African Choral and gospel music, and classic rock. Though she writes and sings primarily in English, a whole show cannot go without Tuelo singing in her native tongue the trance-like songs in Tswana.

Kevin Wenzel

Kevin Wenzel - Acordian, Flute, Mandolin.  Kevin Wenzel specializes in adolescent music education, songwriting and audio production. He is the Executive Director of MIMA Music, an educational non-profit that uses music improvisation to engage and enrich communities. Kevin is a multi-instrumentalist from classical piano to bluegrass mandolin. Based in New York City, Kevin has taught and performed across America and  internationally as a US Cultural Envoy in Argentina, Brazil, El Salvador, Greece and England.

Dominique Joseph

Dominique Joseph - percussion.  Dominique is a spirited and highly motivated individual who finds this passion in drumming. Dominique Hails from Brooklyn via Tampa Fl, where he feels his love for community and strong Connectedness to the Haitian culture, naturally lead him to study west African folk music. Dominique soon found his calling and turned his passion into a career. Dominique is now a featured percussionist with the reggae band Judah Tribe, and also works with other New York based artist the likes of Tuelo Minah, Nomsa Mazwai and South African dance group Juxtapower to name a few.

Mark Anselm

Mark Anselm -  lead guitar.  Mark Anselm is from Annapolis, Maryland and has been playing guitar since he was 13 years old. His first experiences were playing reggae music in his hometown. When he moved to Brooklyn in 2002 to study Illustration, he also began studying jazz and music theory. Currently Mark is the lead guitarist, composer and vocalist in his own bands; City Billie’s (NYC)  and the funk band All State Choir Soul and navigates a broad spectrum of music genres such as R&B, Bluegrass, Reggae and Folk music and has performed at such renowned venues as The Bitter End, Highline Ballroom, the Desmond Tutu Center, 92Y Tribeca and Southpaw. A lover of almost ever style of music, Mark seeks every musical opportunity in order to further his palette and continuously expand his horizons.

 

Danny  Dolgin

Daniel Dolgin - Bass. Daniel Dolgin is a bassist from New York City. He is currently the Development Director at MIMA , a non profit organization that uses music improvisation as a tool to engage and enrich communities. Danny has been playing bass for over 20 years with a variety of artists from jazz to folk to rock. He is influenced greatly by the music he has discovered during his travels throughout the world. Danny's eclectic and unique style has enriched the songs of Tuelo Minah.

Below are some performers from previous years of the festival.  Their voices and talents remain in our hearts even when they cannot be with us. 

Mirka
Signed with EMI while residing in South Africa, Mirka released a bilingual Country album entitled Eden. It was very clear that this hard working musician, with her dedication and amazing work ethic, was destined to make her way to music city, Nashville, especially after being awarded  Best Bilingual Country-Rock Album of the Year!
With the release of her sixth album Where I Belong, Mirka believes it is more than just a title; it’s destiny! The room lights up as she shows her excitement in her characteristic vibrant way. “As a little girl, I used to dream about living and performing in the United States. Being from Pretoria, South Africa, my signature sound was born out of a unique cultural upbringing and musical influences.  “Where I Belong” is an accurate statement and sound of who I am today,”€¯ she says. Visit Mirka’s Web site and read more about her story and her music.  You won’t want to miss her performances at this year’s South African Food & Wine Festival!  Check back for the performance schedule.
Sharon Katz

Internationally acclaimed South African singer, songwriter, musician, peace activist and humanitarian Sharon Katz will perform at this year’s South African Food & Wine Festival. Read how this powerhouse of peace has used music to transform and inspire communities and individuals around the world.  Visit her Web site and come out and enjoy her performances in September!

 

Tsholofetso Mokubung

Tsholo Mokubung - Vocals.  A native of Kimberley South Africa, Tsholo Mokubung's musical journey began with her tagging along to her mother's choir rehearsals as a child. This led to her later joining the prestigious Kimberley Childrens' Choir and was awarded a scholarship by the St Cyprians Cathedral Choir also in her hometown of Kimberley .In more recent years, Tsholo has worked as a backing vocalist for Angelique Kidjo on her Grammy Award winning album Djin Djin, and her latest release OYO, and has also performed at shows which include Central Park Summer Stage, Prospect Park, Carnegie Hall and an appearance on the David Letterman Show.

Omar Edwards

Omar Edwards - dancer.  Omar Edwards is a world class tap dancer. Born in the USA, he is the original member of Bring in the Noise, Bring in the Funk, a Broadway show. He travels around the world teaching and performing tap dance. His entire family performs tap on Broadway and around the world. He has performed at the White House with his old colleague and Cousin Savion Glover.

Lesedi Ntsane

Lesedi Ntsane - Trumpet.  Lesedi was born and raised in Kwa-Thema Springs, Gauteng Province, South Africa. He started playing music at The Salvation Army, Kwa-Thema as a kid and continued to develop his musical talent throughout his youth. After graduating with a National Diploma in Music with distinctions from the Tshwane University of Technology, he moved to New York to continue his studies at the New School of Jazz and Contemporary Music. 

Benstof

Benstof is the stage name of South African musician, Ben van den Heever. After picking up the guitar at age 18, he started entertaining fellow high school friends around the fire.  When he moved to the States along with his family in 1999, music became a way to stay connected to South Africa and as a result his songs transformed into a longing for home and a celebration of memories. As time went by the importance of the "moment" became evident and his topics turned into an excitement for the future of South Africa and its people all across the world. His sound is a mix of English and Afrikaans accompanied with backing vocals by his American wife over an acoustic guitar with echoing electric leads.  Visit Ben’s Web site to hear his music...

Tuelo Le Badimo

The Band TUELO LE BADIMO

Badimo is a  Southern African, Tswana word that means The Gods/The Ancestors -€¯ a word that Tuelo Minah calls her band members. As the composer and music director of both Juxtapower and her own band Badimo, Tuelo was inspired by the tremendous talent that all her band members possess, individually and collectively. Tuelo le Badimo have played venues such as the Queens Museum of Arts, Desmond Tutu Center, Tavern on the Green, South African Food and Wine festival, MIMA Academy, Russell Simmons' Diamond empowerment fund to name a few. She continues to exchange ideas with these featured world class musicians. Badimo is Tuelo's wildest dreams come true.  Read more about the band members below.