Aritst in residence: Nobuhle Ashanti (Cape Town)

Nobuhle Ashanti

Pianist, arranger, and composer Nobuhle Ashanti is on a one-month's research residency at the Musikwohnhaus Basel supported by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia.

Nobuhle Ashanti hails from the vibrant musical landscape of Cape Town, South Africa, and stands as an example of her city's creative spirit. As a pianist, composer, and recording artist, Nobuhle's journey into the world of music began at the Beau Soleil Music Centre, where she first explored the realms of classical violin before finding her true passion at the piano.

A Mzantsi Jazz Award‐winning and SAMA‐nominated artist, Nobuhle's dedication to music extends beyond her personal pursuits. She has actively contributed to various youth music initiatives, including The Little Giants, the Sekunjalo Youth Program, and the prestigious Grahamstown International Youth Jazz Festival.

Nobuhle's musical upbringing was a tapestry of diverse South African sounds and the rich legacies of legendary artists from her homeland. This unique background serves as a wellspring of inspiration for her compositional style, which effortlessly weaves together elements of South African jazz, Rhythm and Blues, Jazz Fusion, and Soul. Her songs often feature intricate vocal and horn arrangements, showcasing her ability to craft captivating, multi‐dimensional melodies.

Throughout the years, Nobuhle has graced the stages of various live music venues and festivals in Cape Town, leaving her mark as a session pianist for local artists. Beyond her solo work, she leads 'The Ashanti Tribe,' a live project that unites a diverse array of artists to celebrate their heritage and foster healing, all in harmonious connection with their audience.

Nobuhle's highly anticipated debut album, 'Bait for Steps Forward,' is a testament to her creative prowess. Released in March 2023, the album is a tapestry of Cape Town's finest poets, instrumentalists, and vocalists, coming together to create a musical masterpiece that resonates with the soul. Nobuhle Ashanti is not just a musician but a cultural bridgebuilder, bringing together the richness of her South African roots into the world of music, where her artistry knows no bounds.