Profile: Kesivan Naidoo


Kesivan NaidooThis prominent Cape Town based drummer started drumming at the age of 11. By the time he was 14 he already made his professional on-stage debut, and played in various Jazz ensembles.

After moving to Cape Town from his home in East London to study Jazz at UCT, he became the youngest person to win the SAMRO Overseas Scholarship Competition. He used this opportunity to study in India at the Rhanbindra Bharati University in Kolkata, under sitar guru Sanjay Bandophandyah.

After his return to South Africa he won the Standard Band Young Artist Award for Jazz in 2009 and has since shared the stage with top South African musicians, including Miriam Makeba, Selaelo Selota, Feya Faku, Bheki Mseleku, Jimmi Dludlu, Marcus Wyatt, Zim Ngqawana, Judith Sephuma, Errol Dyers, Abdullah Ibhrahim, Hotep Galeta and Steve Newman. But not only is he popular locally, but he has also taken his music to international audiences, performing in Germany, France and England, touring with various Jazz bands.

Though citing influences in music ranging from Rage Against the Machine to John Coltrane, Naidoo predominantly focuses on performing Jazz, World Music and Electronica. He has also composed music for a number of documentaries.

In his drive  to nurture local talent Naidoo occasionally facilitates workshops on performance at various South African universities, and was the youngest person to have been invited to lecture at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown in 2003 and 2004.

Naidoo is the drummer for Cape Town-based band, Babu and is co-founder of the Jazz club The Mahogany Room.

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