Artist Profiles: Louis Mhlanga

Louis Mhlanga

Louis Mhlanga was born November 1, 1956. He is a South Africa-based Zimbabwean award-winning guitarist and producer. Mhlanga taught himself playing the guitar at a tender age and is considered one of the best Southern African guitarists.

Mhlanga’s career began in the 1970s. Fronting many bands in Zimbabwe he mixed American and Zimbabwean influences into his music. Mhlanga became renowned for his guitar skills and worked with Zimbabwean acts such as Shaka Talking Drum Ilanga Mudzimu and Oliver Mtukudzi. Louis eventually headed to South Africa to pursue different musical opportunities leading to collaborations with renowned South African artists such as Hugh Masekela Ray Phiri Sipho Mabuse Mlunhgisi Gegane and Busi Mhlongo.

He has produced albums byThomas Mapfumo NigerianKing Sunny Ade South African musician Vusi Mahlasela and many other artists. A former director of musical theatre Mhlanga also ran Zimbabwe’s Ethnomusicology Trust where he was in charge of developing national teaching programs for traditional and contemporary Zimbabwean music. He also spent a year in the Netherlands. As the musician-in-residence at the Royal Dutch Conservatory of Music Mhlanga taught African guitar courses and eventually recorded an album with bassist Eric Van Der Westen.

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.

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