Mdunyelwa, Sylvia Ncediwe (South Africa)  
Sylvia Mdunyelwa - pic C. Syren

Jazz singer, Sylvia Ncediwe Mdunyelwa, who hails from Langa, is also a professional freelance actor and has also managed to maintain a busy performance schedule over the past two decades.

Sylvia started singing in the 70’s when she joined Victor Ntoni’s sextet, and has gone on to perform with a host of Capetonian musicians including Merton Barrow, Winston Mankunku, Nick Carter, and Duke & Ezra Ngcukana.

After taking a group of young aspiring musicians to the International Children’s Jazz Festival in Canada during 1990, Sylvia returned to win a scholarship from the Educational Opportunities Council and studied music for six months at UCLA. The experience led her to experience a wealth of different cultures and she attended classes with many American musicians (including Kenny Burrell), in addition to using the experience to brush up on her history of music and theatre.

According to Sylvia, going to the USA “gave me the opportunity to learn a lot of new skills, which I hope I have and will continue to channel back into the community. I’ve always been something of a community worker, helping others with achieving their dreams"

Since her studies in the US, Sylvia has been invited to tour Germany and performed at the Berlin Festival in 1994. She was also part of a cultural exchange programme in 1997, that allowed her to travel and perform in Bogota, South America. Sylvia’s current small screen appearances include being part of a BBC production on the life of Bishop Desmond Tutu.

Genre: African, African Jazz
Sylvia also presents her own programme, Voice of Jazz, on Cape Town radio station, P4 Radio, and is a member of the board of Fine Music Radio, a classical jazz station in Cape Town.

In 1998, Sylvia’s live performance at the Standard Bank Jazz Festival in Grahamstown was recorded, and subsequently released as ‘African Diva, Live in Africa"

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