Nomfundo Xaluva has been named by the Arts & Culture Trust as the 2014 winner of the ImpACT Award for Music & Singing.
Born and raised in Port Elizabeth, Nomfundo Xaluva was introduced to classical piano at the Victoria Girls Primary Boarding School in Grahamstown, when she was 12. In her final year at high school Xaluva was determined to study jazz and enrolled for a BMus in Jazz Studies at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in 2003. In that same year she joined the National Youth Choir, where she made her solo debut in 2009.
Nomfundo then completed her Master’s Degree in Jazz Studies (Voice & Dissertation) from UCT, where she graduated with Distinction. For her Master’s Degree she did a dissertation on the music of Mama Afrika and entitled it The Analysis of the Musical Style of Miriam Makeba.
Xaluva recorded her first album, Kusile, in 2011, produced by Mandisi Dyantyis and fellow artists- pianist Bokani Dyer, double bassist Wesley Rustin, drummer Kevin Gibson and saxophonist and flautist Buddy Wells.
Xaluva has shared a stage with jazz legends to the likes of Sibongile Khumalo. Her career highlights include opening for Dianne Reeves at Monte Casino in 2011, being invited as an Artist in Residence at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music and winning the award for Best Urban Jazz Album for Kusile at the 2014 Metro FM Music Awards, and Xaluva debuted her album at the Standard Bank Jazz Festival at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown in the same year.
She then went on to perform at the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz Festival as part of the Mzansi Golden Voices who paid tribute to Brenda Fassie with the German Orchestra Kicks and Sticks. In August 2014, Xaluva headlined her own concert at the Port Elizabeth Opera House as part of the inaugural Nelson Mandela Bay Concert Series. Here, she also taught a Vocal Master Class as part of the mentorship aspect of the initiative. Xaluva is currently Head Vocal Coach at the Cape Academy of Performing Arts.
“As a young professional, winning this award is a great catalyst to shift my music career into the next phase. Through the assistance of organisations like ACT and Distell, artists are afforded the rare opportunity to expose their crafts on a national platform at a relatively young age. I’m extremely grateful and humbled by the acknowledgement and recognition associated with this award,” says Xaluva.
The ImpACT Awards are sponsored by Distell Foundation. Each ImpACT Award winner receives R1500 as a cash prize and editorial coverage worth R25 000 in Classicfeel Magazine.
The 2014 ACT Awards ceremony is sponsored by Nedbank Arts Affinity, hosted by Sun International and presented in association with the Dramatic, Artistic and Literary Rights Organisation (DALRO), Media24 Books, Classicfeel Magazine and is supported by the Distell Foundation and Business and Arts South Africa (BASA).
Other ImpACT Award Winners include Bevan de Wet for Visual Art, Jade Bowers for Theatre and Thabo Makhetha-Kwinana for Design.