An Argentinean-born, Johannesburg-based duo called Ariel & Juana (pictured above, picture by Ihsaan Haffejee) is touring Durban and the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast this week, in association with Concerts SA.

Comprising renowned double-bassist Ariel Zamonsky and vocalist Juana Pires Rafael, they are on the third leg of a national tour.

The team’s sound is shaped by their South American heritage, their South African experience and their travels. They perform a soulful repertoire that includes music from Ariel’s album, and unreleased new work.

You will be able catch the duo at Durban’s Alliance Française, 22 Sutton Crescent, Morningside, from 6.30pm on Friday (February 22) when admission will be R80. To book phone 031 312 9582. From 7pm on Saturday (February 23) the duo will be at Mantis & Moon, 178 Station Road, Umzumbe, Port Shepstone. For more info call 039 684 6256.

Free performance

They will also perform at no cost at The Spot Backpackers, 53 Ambleside Road, Umtentweni, Port Shepstone, from 4pm on Sunday (February 24), and will give another free performance from 10am on Monday (February 25) at the Gamalakhe campus of Esayidi TVET College, Port Shepstone.

A 6pm performance is scheduled for next Wednesday (February 27) at the Centre For Jazz and Popular Music in the Shepstone Building on the Durban campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Admission is R80 (R50 for pensioners and R25 for students). Ring 031 260 3385 for more details.

The Rainbow

A performance is scheduled for 8.30pm on Friday, March 1, at Durban’s Jazzy Rainbow in Morningside (admission R60), and there will be a free performance from 4pm on Saturday, March 2, at The Rainbow Restaurant in Stanfield Lane, Pinetown, for which more details are available by calling 031 702 9161.

The Ariel & Juana tour is supported by Concerts SA.

Banjo ace Tony Trishchka.

Don’t forget the exciting collaboration taking place at Caversham Mill in the Midlands on February 28.

Tony Trischka, the man who made the banjo “bigger, jazzier and more worldly”, is the star attraction for this concert to be held on one night only.

Up out of bluegrass and country to roots in Africa, to heights of jazz, Tony’s style is banjo unbound. He is also known as a great educator and teacher of the instrument.

KZN Midlands events

Tony will be performing at Caversham Mill with the talented and highly acclaimed KZN Maskandi duo Qadasi and Maqhinga. They will explore the meeting points of Bluegrass and Maskandi and weave together the syncopated rhythms of the banjo with infectious tunes and rhythms of Maskandi Zulu guitar. This will be a musical collaboration unlike any seen in South Africa.

Dinner is available from 6pm. The cost of the show is R140, excluding dinner. For info, email cavershammill@mweb.co.za; 033 234 4524.

The Carpenters

If you are a fan of the music of The Carpenters, seriously consider a trip to Tina’s Hotel in Beryldene Road, Kloof, to see excellent Durban singers Shylo Pereira and Samantha Landers. They are backed on piano and vocals by Evan Roberts, in their tribute to the hit US brother and sister team who gave us hits such as Close to You, Rainy Days and Mondays, Only Yesterday, Sing and Yesterday Once More.

This elegantly informal and hugely enjoyable show has final performances at 8pm, Wednesday to Saturday, and 2pm on Sundays, until February 24. Tickets cost R150 each (R130 for pensioners and students with valid student cards) and booking is via Computicket or by calling Roland at 082 499 8636.

For my review of the show, click here

Also a great option in Durbs is Cape Town drag queen Lilly Slaptsilli in her hilarious, naughty lip-sync show, Shenanigans, scheduled for performances at the Rhumbelow Theatre in Cunningham Road, Umbilo.

Cape Town drag lip-sync icon Lilly Slaptsilli performs Shenanigans at Durban’s Rhumbelow Theatre in Umbilo from Friday to Sunday (February 221 to 24).

For my review of the show when it was staged last June at the Rhumbelow Theatre in Kloof, and which has been tweaked with some new numbers for the Umbilo run, click here

Performances are at 8pm Friday and Saturday (February 22 and 23) and 2pm and 6.30pm on Sunday (February 24). Tickets cost R150 each (R130 for pensioners and students with valid student cards) and booking is via Computicket or by calling Roland at 082 499 8636.

Note that one can take along one’s own meals to the theatre, but all drinks must be bought at the venue. Light meals can also be bought at the theatre.

New on circuit

Among films new on circuit countrywide this weekend is a comedy-drama, Eighth Grade, written and directed by Bo Burnham.

The story of an introverted teenage girl who tries to survive the last week of her disastrous eighth grade year before leaving to start high school, the film stars Elsie Fisher, Josh Hamilton and Emily Robinson.

Also new on circuit countrywide is a Russian animated film, The Princess and the Dragon, directed by Marina Nefedova. It tells of a princess who, on her seventh birthday, discovers a magical book that transports her to Wonderland – an enchanted place filled with dragons and other fantastic creatures.

SHOWBIZ TRIVIA:
Do you know? Under what name, before he became famous with Queen, did Freddie Mercury record a version of The Ronettes and Beach Boys hit, I Can Hear Music, in the early 1970s? (Answer next week).
Last week’s question: What movie earned the Best Picture Oscar and also the first and only Oscar to date for Gwyneth Paltrow, as best actress? (Answer: Shakespeare in Love).