Qhawekazi is an ethnomusicologist, vocalist and teacher, originally from East London South Africa. Her passion lies within the preservation of indigenous knowledge systems, music and instruments, and using musical sound to help alleviate the anxiety and stress disorders experienced by youths and the greater community at risk.
She has studied music with Avril Kinsley at the Cape Town Academy of Music, The Jazz Workshop, Keele University in England and holds a BA Degree in Ethnomusicology and Jazz Vocals from Rhodes University. She has most recently completed her BA Honours Degree in Music at the University of Fort Hare and is currently completing her Master’s Degree in Ethnomusicology through the International Library of African Music at Rhodes University. Within her Master’s Degree studies, she is currently a member of the jazz heritage project titled “Research on the Neo- traditional Jazz Heritage of the Eastern Cape from a Developmental Perspective”, funded by the National Arts Council.
Qhawekazi has been performing and conducting creative workshops in music and performing arts since 2009 and in 2017, she started teaching vocal technique and performance at the Woodstock Academy of Music in Cape Town and later at the International College of Arts in Hanoi, Vietnam.
She has most recently performed at festivals and venues such as Rocking the Daisies, Urban Gentry Jazz Club and The Cool Kats Jazz Club in Hanoi, Vietnam. Her musical inspirations include the likes of Madosini, Thandiswa Mazwai, Simpiwe Dana, Blk Jks and Madala Kunene as well as the voices of Sathima Bea Benjamin, Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn and Erykah Badu, just to name a few. Qhawekazi traverses through different genres in her music ranging from jazz to blues, soul and traditional to world music.
“My music caters to old souls and youthful hearts. I believe music is about connecting and sharing moments with people. I am deeply inspired by the healing power of nature and music.”