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YEMANYA Yemanya is a unique Afro-European café outfit, performing a groovy and glamorous fusion of classics, with an African flavour. The brain child of pianist Marleze Smit, this exciting collaboration’s debut album “Two Roads” (produced by Gabi le Roux and Helmut Meijer), was launched in 2011, and has been well received by the public and media alike. Consisting of piano, drums, marimba, violin and cello, Yemanya creates a unique aural experience by using French, Spanish and Argentinean melodies, with a strong African undertone, which adds a unique twist to the popular European café sound (made famous by Buddha Bar). MEMBERS Frank Paco Drummer and percussionist Frank Paco is no stranger to the South African music scene, having performed with artists such as Jimmy Dludlu, Miriam Makeba, Brenda Fassie, Hugh Masekela, Judith Sephuma and Jonathan Butler. Frank is also the founder member of the popular Afro-fusion band Tucan Tucan. Bongani Sotshononda Bongani is an internationally acclaimed chromatic marimba percussionist and composer. With over 20 years of experience in the music industry, he has performed in many countries, from Belgium to New York to Japan, and has been involved in numerous successful collaborations. His love for the marimba has led him to put together the The Marimba Extravaganza, a 26-piece marimba orchestra which tells of the history of marimbas; narrated and directed by Bongani. Elina Koytcheva Elina's violin career has taken her across the world. Haven taken up the Violin in Europe at the age of 6, she has decades of experience as a professional performer, and has taken part in concerts and recordings across the world, accompanying well-known artists such as Oleta Adams, Gino Vinelli, Steve Vai, Herbie Hancock, Al Jarreau, and Tim Ries. She has been based in Cape Town since 2005, where she performs a wide range of styles from classical to gypsy, with an electronic twist. Natasha Otero Natasha is a versatile young cellist, who has performed with numerous orchestras and bands. In the Classical world, she has performed with the National Youth Orchestra, International Chamber Festival Orchestra and as a member of the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, while also “crossing over” to more contemporary music genres by having performed at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, as well as with several popular bands such as George Benson, Foto Na Dans, and Isochronous.
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