–  An initiative through the World Jazz Network started in 2019

Over the last five years, under the banner of The World Jazz Network, fostered by Alexander Beets of the Amersfoort Jazz Festival, IKS Cultural Consulting and Banyan Tree Events India have collaborated to enable South African musicians to perform as musical and cultural ambassadors at various events and festivals in India.

These amazing musical talents represented South Africa promoting our music, indigenous instruments, beats and sounds.  Working across cultures gave both South African and Indian musicians the opportunity to learn about the others’ cultures and music, explore shared heritage and to exchange their different perspectives. The shared passion for creativity resulted in informal workshops where cultural influences mingled and resulted in new and unique sounds. 

Dumza Maswana & Volley Nchabaleng

During August 2023 Dumza Maswana  and  Volley Nchabaleng, participated in the G20 Cultural Working Group Orchestra in Varanasi India. As our fourth and fifth ambassadors they were welcomed to an event with representatives of indigenous music from around the world.

Dumza Maswana said: “Words, can’t fully express the beauty of this place and the warmth of the locals. I am learning so much from my peers from other countries. There will surely be collaborations and lifetime friendships after this.   Thank you Banyan Tree Events and the Ministry of Culture for everything, ensuring our stay is memorable. IKS Cultural Consulting thank you for opening this door.  Thanks Nailla Dollie and Andre Le Roux



Not only did they perform with a diverse ensemble of musicians, but they also performed for 450 children and shared information about our diverse South Africa culture and music at their school.

Dumza Maswana and Volley Nchabaleng were invited back to India to participate in the TCS  Ruyaniyat Festival, in Bangalore held January 2024.   

Quote from Volley – “The G20 allowed great networking and connections and I am now collaborating with a Brazilian artist because of the Indian Tour. Banyan Tree Events India are exceptional hosts and made sure we had all we needed and going back in January we felt like family being welcomed back to India. We had four opportunities to engage children at schools and we were so encouraged by their enthusiasm and some children are still in touch with us.

McCoy Mrubata

Our first musical & cultural ambassador to travel across the Indian Ocean was none other than the legendary McCoy Mrubata, who travelled to India and participated in the Kala Viraasat Festival in Mumbai during November 2019,  please have a look at this lovely video, summarising his experience in India, collaborative performances making connections and expressing his craft!

McCoy Mrubata

Ntando Ngcapu

Pianist Ntando Ngcapu went to Mumbai in 2020 as part of the Banyan Tree Events India’s  World Jazz Festival.

Ntando Ngcapu in 2020 said: Unfortunately, my band could not join me, but Tim Hannicas, Marius Beets played with me. I was so honoured to play with a veteran such as Marius Beets. We had the most amazing reception, sound, fantastic music, wonderful local and international performers and what a welcoming audience too! I loved the opportunity to perform as part of the World Jazz Festival in India. This was one of my most memorable trips!

Ntando Ngcapu

Jodi Fredricks

The third musical and cultural ambassador who travelled to India was the vivacious  Jodi Fredricks who performed at the World Jazz Festival in Mumbai in 2022,  despite some stressful moments at the airport before departure, due to visa issues, her experience in India was exceptional! And followed on with a stint at Amersfoort Jazz Festival.

Jodi said: “I had a wonderful time in India – it was my first overseas trip and remains my very best trip. I made incredible connections, which I am still in contact with. I learnt so very much!! This was my first experience performing with Indian musicians, seeing and experiencing their traditional instruments.  I welcome the opportunity to go to India again!

Jodi Fredricks

Thapelo Khumisi & Titi Luzipo

In 2024 Thapelo Khumisi  and Titi Luzipo, were our sixth and seventh musical and cultural ambassadors, who travelled to India in April and performed in Dehradun, Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai and  Pune  as part of the World Jazz Festival with the World Jazz Network and Banyan Tree Events India.

Thapelo shared: “We had a fantastic trip, with tight schedules and early mornings to make provision for travelling. I learnt so much about the culture, transport and particularly hooting practices as we drove through the cities. I enjoyed learning about the Indian culture and music and am inspired and so happy to have made connections with so many musicians.  I had the privilege of engaging young people at a school about South African culture, music and I shared more about South Africa, for the first time and I am a proud ambassador.  I encourage all my peers to maximise the goodness of what we have as South Africans!

Titi shared: “Our schedule was quite intense, 4am wake up, travelling from 5am to get to the airport to avoid traffic. The audience, hosts and musicians were wonderful, open to experiencing the South African jazz.  The audience showed their appreciation so wonderfully, we were showered with applause, flowers and love. Banyan Tree Events India were exceptionally kind and always wanting to make sure we had all we needed.  We got to me the South African Consular General, Monita Carolissen in Mumbai. I’m thrilled to have had this experience.

Thapelo Khumisi

Titi Luzipo

A message from iks cultural consulting:

As IKS Cultural Consulting, we are honoured to have been part of this opportunity, enabling our South African music and cultural ambassadors the opportunity to perform, connect with peers from around the world and to always be learning.

We would like to thank:

  • The Indian Consular General and team for your support and enabling this exchange.  
  • Mahesh Babu and Harshada Kalelkar of the Banyan Tree Events India team for the wonderful support and opportunities for our ambassadors
  • Alexander Beets and the The World Jazz Network for creating the network, opportunities to share our unique sound and artists
  • Our amazing ambassadors who represent our culture, music and our South African Spirit!
  • The audiences who supported the gigs and loved the performances and artists.

Here’s to many more cultural exchanges and opportunities to connect! 

We’re humbled and thrilled and look forward to flowing cultural connections across the Indian Ocean!