Mandla Mlangeni is an award-winning trumpeter, composer and bandleader. Named the Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz 2019 and 2019 fellow at UWC’s Centre for Humanities Research, Mlangeni honed in on his talents on some of the worlds most esteemed opera houses in Europe with the Cape Town Opera’s production of Porgy and Bess from 2009- 2014. As the founding member of the critically acclaimed Amandla Freedom Ensemble (South African Music Award nominees for Best Jazz Album 2016). Mlangeni’s other outfit, aptly named the Tune Recreation Committee (TRC), was listed as New York Times’ Best Albums for 2017 and made their debut appearance at the 2017 Cape Town International Jazz Festival. The New York Times mentions, “this alliance of young South African musicians delves into the country’s syncretic cultural heritage — then ventures beyond. You hear Balkan folk, American funk, West African high life, South African free jazz. Most of all, you hear five bristling improvisers dancing together, modelling a kind of thoughtful communion”.
As the 2016 Pro Helvetia Artist In Residence recipient in Bern, Switzerland, he collaborated with many esteemed musicians culminating in a SADC Album Tour Launch. Mlangeni has participated in a wide range programmes, namely OneBeat by Found Sound Nation in the US and the Take Five Residency Workshops presented by SERIOUS Music UK at the Bore Place Residency in Kent, England 2016. Mlangeni has performed and collaborated with several distinguished jazz musicians both locally and abroad, including David Murray, Evan Parker, Feya Faku, Louis Moholo, Shabaka Hutchings (UK), Ganesh Geymeier (CH), Barney Rachabane, Sipho “Hotsix” Mabuse, Hugh Masekela, Khaya Mahlangu and Afrika Mkhize and more. Mlangeni is a curator of several other initiatives in Johannesburg and Cape Town, namely the Afrikan Freedom Principle and a host of other independent music ventures under his company MMMusic.