May 31, 2011

Zim Ngqwana - Zimology : life through music

“The reason I’m interested in music of different cultures is the spiritual element. I like to deal in world music, all music and cultures. I don’t want to confine myself to South Africa.
“I sit at the piano and write a piece. For months I live with the stuff I am writing and I develop a certain relationship with the music. When I hand it over to somebody else to play, I become very sad when they play just the notes and leave out the energy and understanding of the piece. Too many of the young generation know nothing about intensity and compassion.
“It’s all in the interpretation. Drummers must stop just bashing the kit with sticks, they must learn to stroke the drum with brushes for a change. Don’t just play the music, understand it. You have to lock into the music and know the purpose of playing it.”
”Dancers give me more energy than musicians. I learned a lot, I always wanted to SEE the music as opposed to just hearing it.”
Zim has managed to obtain something all artists aim for, an individual voice. His music can be deep and beautiful, then suddenly turn, becoming aggressive and assertive.Tough and tender, inspirational and spiritual, all are adjectives that describe his work, and it’s quality is augmented by the emotional tie to his deep-seated roots.
His musical chemistry will add yet another formula to the laboratory of World Music.
As a parting shot he says “We are reaching a very crucial state in this country whereby people won’t be able to hide behind politics singing ’Viva Mandela’ in the songs. Now is the time for pure art.”
Zim went on to become a superb player and a composer of note, as well as an educator. He is akin to a Charles Mingus in his writing, which is best defined as Afro avant-garde and musically tells the tales of migrant workers in South Africa.

by Don Albert

A blend of Xhosa folk music and township jazz, Zimology celebrates the rich heritage of South African music while paying homage to an earlier generation of the country’s jazz masters. And while he indicated that he had listened to a wide variety of jazz albums with his brother, he acknowledged John Coltrane as his definitive influence after hearing the US saxophonist’s A Love Supreme.
“I was immediately drawn by the power of his music and since then I have always wanted to perform,” he said. “To me Coltrane sounds more African than many local jazz artists.”


note that
there is always a pass for the high pass:

more Zim on freedomblues


  1. Thanks to Nauma for this post, the credit is all his, mine is yust the link. One thing I would like to ad to this post is that he was a father of six children, it is not my custom to do this, but if you really like his musical message it wont be a bad thing to buy it assuming the money would reach his familly. Thank you.

  2. I would like to add to your call Kokolo that Zim was almost ruined financially during his last years ,after the Zimology Institute was vandalized
    and he was forced to sell the land.if the money reaches his family it will be a relief for them.