Artist Profiles: Simpiwe Matole

Simpiwe Matole – Soprano marimba, vocals, dance/acrobatics.

Born on 29 May 1963, Simpiwe Matole is the only boy in a family of daughters and was thus given the name of ‘gift’. He went to school in Langa until Standard 9 and completed his education in Transkei.

Simpiwe’s father, Themba, is a jazz pianist and Simpiwe is more than proficient on piano, but his forte is his masterful playing of the marimba and xylophone, which he learned as a member of the church choir he joined in 1978.

Through the choir, he also met Dizu Plaatjies and joined Amampondo. As the leading marimba player on the Cape, Simpiwe made a guest appearance on the Barungwa album, The Messengers, and produced the debut album from Achisa as well as contributing to their recently released second album Bill of Rights. He has also contributed to the Spotlight South Afrika compilations, with a solo track on Jazzin’and Jivin’. However his talents are fully expressed and recognised on Amampondo‘s release Vuyani, which Simpiwe expertly produced.

Simpiwe has also collaborated with Juno Reactor, and toured internationally with them on the Shango tour.

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several TV 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 albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.

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