The Messengers

Founded in 1995 after the first Outernational Meltdown '94 gathering of local and international musicians @ Downtown Studios in Joburg. Barungwa became the first Anglo/South African Acid Jazz group and toured both SA and Europe (but mainly the vibrant Acid jazz scene in the UK).

The Story

“This is Music reaching out to embrace the Future, this is a love affair between London and South Africa…a music of great intensity and joy, intriguing textures and kaleidoscope rhythms. Barungwa, concived in 1995 by Andrew Missingham, take you on an unpredictable course through acid jazz, traditional marimba and mbira melodies…This is a challenging and liberating music from artists who ain’t afraid to aim beyond the horizon, beyond the dancefloor, to lead rather than follow.” Straight No Chaser Outernational collaboration has always been the well-spring of musical innovation. In Barungwa, new skool London jazzers from the early 90’s met South African players fresh from the townships and the result sounded like the future. Led by drummer, Andrew Missingham, with Ike Leo on upright bass, Barungwa also featured the late brilliant young pianist, Moses Taiwa Molelekwa, Chris Bowden, Mxolise ‘Dave’ Mayekana on guitar and the extraordinary vocal talent of Shazula ‘Max’ Mntambo. Their debut and only studio album, The Messengers (BW070) was a brilliant success and the band’s international tour in 1996 included a show at the Durban Jazz Festival and the Africa 2000 dates in London. The band dispersed in 1998 with all members carrying on their musical journeys as leaders of their own groups. ‘Barungwa is about transnational dialogue on genuinely equal terms, individuals working together without silly blanket suppositions about exoticism and ‘other culture’ – in short, getting on with the business of today.’ Jason Lyon, Jazz On CD

Andrew Missinham – drums
Moses Taiwa Molelekwa – piano
Shaluza Max Mntambo – vocal
Dave Mxolise Mayekana – guitar & vocals
Chris Bowden – sax, flute



Burungwa (Messengers) Lauche in Londons 1995

1995 video footage of the UK launch at the Limpopo Club, Africa Center in Covent Garden, London

Barungwa - Abangoma (DJ Smash mix)

Moses Molelekwa and Barungwa Featuring Shaluza Max Mtambo

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