Brownswood’s ‘Indaba is’ compilation is out now

A showcase of South African—specifically Johannesburg—jazz.

Brownswood Recordings’ compilation Indaba is, spotlighting South African jazz, is out now.

The eight-track record was curated by Siyabonga Mthembu and Thandi Ntuli, and came out of a conversation Mthembu had with his bandmates in Shabaka Hutchings and the Ancestors in London in 2017. While at dinner together, Mthembu learned that Hutchings had actually produced Brownswood’s groundbreaking London-focused compilation We Out Here.

“I asked why they hadn’t done a South African one because SA is a global giant when it comes to jazz,” he explained to The Star. “They were actually just looking for someone to curate one.” Two years later, he sent through a proposal, which the label accepted.


The songs on Indaba is—which include previously released singles “Ke Nako” by Bokani Dyer and “Umdali” featuring Sibusile Xaba, Naftali, Fakazile Nkosi and AshK—are not an exhaustive reflection of all South African jazz, Mthembu said, but “rather a particular part of Joburg [Johannesburg] jazz and avant-rock spaces.”

“For this collaborative project, it was important for us to put across what we feel jazz could be,” he said. “It becomes very important not to be stuck in what jazz used to be, but showing that the tradition is growing and has gone further.”

Indaba is comes two years after Brownswood’s last region-centric collection, Sunny Side Up, which dived into the Melbourne scene. Stream the new compilation below:


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