2019 UJ Weekend of Jazz- The Brother Moves On and Nomisupasta
Updated: Sep 27, 2019
A couple of weekends ago, a friend invited me to the 2019 UJ Weekend of Jazz to watch The Brother Moves On with her. It had been a few years since I last saw this band with a sound self-described as “tradition-trouncing trans-Atlantic Afro-centric futuristically ancient fusion that jack knifes between spectral dub-metal, hyperrhythmic rock psychedelia, indie-township and astro-afro-free-jazz”. Though the audience may have been small at the University of Johannesburg’s Art Centre, the feeling of spiritual upliftment through African jazz was palpable.
This Friday night show began with a performance by South African Music Award winner Nomisupasta and her all-female band. Nomisupasta brought on stage a presence that was captivating. She was relatable and spoke to the Black women in the crowd on topics such as love and heartbreak as well as politics as she engaged with her audience. Dressed in a long skirt and a crop top, Nomisupasta boasted body positivity while she worked the stage. A sign onstage with the written message “we are who we have been waiting for”, Nomisupasta’s feminist perspective was evident and enjoyable.
After a twenty-minute intermission came the main act, The Brother Moves On. Despite persistent sound issues and a small crowd, The Brother Moves On proved themselves dedicated musicians who lived up to their reputation. I recently spent time in Australia, touring with Australian musicians on a regional tour. Coming home and watching The Brother Moves On contrasted to my experiences of watching local Australian rock live. The members of The Brother Moves On carry themselves as African rock stars that merge musical influences that their audience enthusiastically indulged on a cosmic level. The band had show-watchers on their feet. They wanted more and the band listened to their supports’ demand-up until they were told by the sidelines that they had to get off the stage.
All in all, this was a night well spent in Johannesburg.