Vuma Levin’s residency will be anchored in a collaborative project with Swiss guitarist, Theo Duboule. Aesthetically, they will draw from historically significant, traditional and urban syncretic South African forms including, Nguni-Sotho choral and gourd bow song, Marabi and Ghoema, exploring the possibility of fusing these forms with jazz, pop, hip-hop and western art/classical music. Further, Levin will explore sound design by making use of prepared instruments, loops, effects and samples, all towards extending the sonic possibilities of the guitar duo format.
Vuma’s project is an attempt to give nuance to his iteration of an African identity as well as to respond to the global tendency to present a homogeneous view of what it means to be South African. “I believe that the spirit of my art will provide a diversifying and enriching voice to the Swiss cultural consciousness. Furthermore, the possibility of Swiss collaboration will be an invaluable to my artistic output. This is due to the fact that it will not only allow me to communicate the aforementioned ideas about African identity to a Swiss audience, but it will also give me access to new cultural material to add to my musical palette” says Levin.
Beginning his studies in jazz at age 18, Vuma received lessons from the South African Jazz guitar legend, Johnny Fourie. He completed a National Diploma at the Tshwane University of Technology going on to be presented with the best Guitarist Award (2008). In 2009, he was selected as the guitarist in the Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Band, which culminated in a performance at the Grahamstown Jazz Festival and later at the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz Festival. Vuma went on to attend the prestigious Conservatorium Van Amsterdam where he graduated and earned the Non-EU Talent Scholarship to finance his masters study.
Levin, has performed with some notable musicians in South Africa and abroad including: Feya Faku, Herbie Tsoeli, Nduduzo Makhatini, Marcus Wyatt, Ayanda Sikade, Bokani Dyer, Benjamin Jephta, Tumi Mogorosi, Benjamin Herman (Netherlands), Thijs Borstein (Netherlands), Maarten Hogenhuis (Netherlands), Mark Schilders (Netherlands) and more.