About The Band

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The Meditators band was formed in 1991 after Ras Shante left the Roots Rock Reggae band from Mandini (KZN) to create a fresh new South African reggae sound.  The band currently consists of 7 full time members - Shante Bekwa (vocals and guitar), Dan Msomi (guitar and vocals) Bunny Nathi Mkhize (drums) Barret Thabani Hlela (bass guitar) Albert Chemane (percussion),  Sfiso Mpanza (keyboards) and Simphiwe Mtembu Sikhakane(trombone).

As a four piece band originally, The Meditators recorded their first album,'Tacklin' beast by the horns' in Joburg in the same year. The innovative conscious musical intelligence of this album could not find a place in the SA music industry and became an obscure, highly sought after album. The band was made up of Ras Shante(guitar/vocals), Ras Levi(David Mhlongo,bass guitar), Ras Gad(percussion) and Ras Dumisane. Ras Benjamin joined the band in 1994, Ras Dumi left the band and The Meditators continued on until the much awaited  second album, 'Break Down Chains' was recorded in Joburg in 1999.

This album created a distinct buzz around the band with its strong message of Unity and Freedom.

The Meditators moved to KZN in 2000 after the sad passing of Ras Gad and formed a collaboration with 'I Land Crew', from Clermont.  Drummer Bunny Nathi Mkhize, Keyboard player Sfiso Mpanza and bass player Barret Hlela from 'I Land Crew'  band performed with both bands(8 piece). Two bands on one stage performing as one,

In 2001 Leanne Haine aka 'Sista Free' joined The Meditators as a songwriter and vocalist, having previously worked with reggae man Roots 'Tosh' Cele from Pmb and his family band Undivided Roots from 1996-2001. In 2004 after numerous submissions to perform at uShaka Marine World, the Meditators band was offered a peak season contract after auditioning successfully. This contract meant a regular income for the band and an opportunity to nurture and develop a local, national and international audience. In 2005 Sista Free needed to focus on raising her sons and stepped back  from performing full time  with the band and became PRO and Booking Agent organising shows and events.

Ras Dan Msomi was a welcome addition to the band on frontline vocals in 2004 and by 2005 the bands popularity was well established despite numerous lineup changes while the band was defining itself, its audience and its market.

In 2006 The Meditators left The Stable Theatre and  rented rehearsal and studio premises at Seaboard Apartments on Mahatma Ghandi Boulevard.
A fire at Seaboard in 2007 destroyed everything that the band owned, The local community  supported the band to quickly regroup and continue working, using borrowed/hired and donated equipment that enabled the band to continue generating income to rebuild the band again.


In 2008 Jah Kingdom was recorded at Sonic Studios by Izan Greyling, and released to the acclaim of reggae music lovers all over South Africa and the world,  while  doors were closed by all mainstream labels and radio  stations including East Coast, Metro FM, Gagazi FM.  Revolver Records and Gallo and EMI were all approached for distribution deals to no avail. Entry of the Album 'Jah Kingdom' into the South African Music Awards met no success as no catagory provided for the genre of reggae music...this has since been promised to change NEVER DID and the bands album Special Reques' was entered but not categorized as reggae and did not receive a nominPerformance Highlightsation for the second time because no category for reggae was provided..

The most recent album completed in 2011, is Special Reques'. The title track is a call out and special request to mainstream radio djs to play more South African reggae music on the airwaves and to  promote local South African reggae bands and artists. Track 3, Lucky Dube, paysa fitting and respectful  tribute to this iconic reggae role model South African reggae artist who didn't get his fair share of the South African Music industry and was hugely popular all over the world as an artist standing up for the equal rights and justice for all in South Africa. The Meditators new album, 'My love your love'  is nearing completion and will be released along with 'Tacklin' Beast by the Horns making 5 Meditators cds available and on sale.


The Meditators continue evolving as individuals and as a band members, inspiring young and old  and spreading a message of one lov', unity, peace and harmony, that promotes a  conscious positive lifestyle

All five albums. Break Down Chains, Jah Kingdom and Special Reques' Tacklinw' Beast by the Horns and My love your love, will soon be available on iTunes. Also you can find The Meditators on facebook and twiitter  'like' our facebook page and get all the updates on upcoming performances and events.

Performance Highlights

2004 - Support Rita Marley and the I-Threes at Bat Centre Womans Day Celebrations

2008 - Rita Marley performed Redemption Song at Zulu Jazz Lounge with The Meditators after the Bob Marley Photo Exhibition and Earthday celebrations that took place on North Beach at Sunrise with Rita and her entourage.

2009 - Curtain Raiser for Linton Kwesi Johnson at  Durban City Hall.2

2008/2009 Splashy Fen - Drakensberg

2010 - Hosted international Reggae Stars Tony Rebel and Queen Ifrica as part of the Celebrate Durban.

2010 FIFA World Cup Fan Park performances in Umlazi, KwaMashu and New Pier Beach Durban.

Bob Marley Earthday Celebrations at uShaka Marine World from 2008 -2014 hosting 8 reggae bands in Tribute to the great reggae music legend, Robert Nesta Marley.

The band has performed at many local music festivals in and around Durban and KZN, and performs regularly at popular venues - Live The Venue, Cool Runnings, Winston Pub, Beach Bums, Zimbali Resort, SunCoast Casino, Bat Centre, Sandford Country Park Hotel, Drakensberg,   The buand is currently the  resident band at Moyo's uShaka and performs live reggae every Sunday from 1pm-6pm to an audience that comprises of local Durban residents as well as International tourists.

 


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