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Selota, Selaelo (South Africa)  
Selaolo Selota

SELAELO Selota was born and grew up in a rural village in the northern region of South Africa near Pietersburg where he was greatly inspired by the traditional musical practices that were around him. On completing high school, and not having financial resources to further his studies, he found employment in gold mining. Working in the mines and living amongst the migrant workers, he was exposed to the traditional songs and dances from many other Southern African tribal groups. After three years, he left the mines and went to Johannesburg in search of new directions in life.

In Johannesburg he worked at the Market Theatre as an usher and later as a cleaner at Kippies Jazz Club. He seized every opportunity to learn from the musicians he heard performing there. During that year 1988; he bought his first guitar and began studying music theory through FUBA (Federated Union of Black Artists) Academy.

Genre: jazz, African Jazz

By June 1989 he was playing with his first band at the Market Theatre. He subsequently played with renowned Ghanaian artist George Lee and Anansi. In 1992/93 Selaelo worked with Shell Road to Fame while teaching Jazz Guitar at FUBA Academy and in 1994 enrolled at the University of Cape Town’s College of Music to study for a Jazz Degree. As a bandleader he formed “Meropa" and played at the Grahamstown Arts Festival Fringe in 1995.

Selaelo formed his band “Taola" in 1996 as a vehicle for his original compositions, which are an energetic and emotional fusion of Pedi music, modern elements and the traditional African musical experiences of his youth. Taola has appeared on television and in numerous live performances and festivals. Selaelo and Taola were billed in the UCT Jazz Festival held at the Baxter Concert Hall in Cape Town in August 1997 and were invited to perform at the Fin de Siecle Music Festival in Nantes, France in October 1997, receiving standing ovations.

Selaelo was awarded second prize in the prestigious Adcock Ingram Music Competition in 1996 and in 1997 he won first prize, both in the Jazz category.

He has regularly featured as a soloist and composer with the UCT Big Band. In 1996 Selaelo was appointed as one of the guitar teaching staff at the university which followed through to 1998 when he was teaching Jazz Guitar and Jazz Improvisation.

Selaelo graduated from UCT in 1997 with a Jazz degree, majoring in Jazz Composition and Arrangement.

Selaelo worked with well-known musicologist and researcher, David Fanshawe during his “African Sanctus" tour with the London Bach Choir in 1997. In 1998 he featured on the début CD of fellow musicians Frank Mallows and Brydon Bolton - “Adamastor" "The Spirit of Table Mountain"

Selaelo performed on 31st January 99 with his quartet at the Blue Note’s “Cape Town Salutes the Guitars" event to great acclaim. It was at this concert that the managing director of the North Sea Jazz Festival, Theo van den Hoek, spotted Selaelo and booked him for the festival.

In February 99 Selaelo appeared on e-tv’s Sunday at the Jazz Cafe programme when his familiar “Seshego" and recent composition “Painted Faces" were performed.

In March 99 he won the Instrumental Category of the Old Mutual Jazz into the Future Talent Search Competition (Western Cape regional finals).

  Recordings : Selota, Selaelo
Enchanted Gardens

Enchanted Gardens
Painted Faces

Painted Faces

click here for more about these and other recordings by : Selota, Selaelo

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