visits Radio Tropicale
Wednesday September 7, 2011, 1pm
Nineteen year old South African artist David Jenkins will visit with Bruce Penner during the second hour of Radio Tropicale this Wednesday. In the area as part of the sixth annual South African Food and Wine Festival at Grayhaven Winery in Gum Spring, VA, David will also perform live during the program, demonstrating his proficiencies in the sounds of Zulu music.
David Jenkins hails from Empangeni, and is a proficient guitarist, singer, banjo and concertina player. As a child he spent many happy hours with the Zulu gardener and housekeeper, and later with children; all of whom were Zulu.
At the age of 9 David developed a passionate interest in ‘Shaka Zulu’ and the Zulu culture and thus began his collection of books, traditional clothing, beadwork and music, and also learnt to stick fight and Zulu dance.
At the age of 12 he was given his first guitar, and within two weeks was able to play his first basic ‘Maskandi’ song; well known Maskandi musician, Phuzekhemisi, being his mentor.
He later developed an interest in Johnny Clegg, and studied Clegg’s technique together with that of other popular Zulu musicians. Thus he successfully mastered the traditional technique of playing the Zulu Maskandi style of music. In July 2008, after the death of his father, renowned KZN journalist Chris Jenkins, he taught himself to play his late father’s five-string banjo, concentrating on the Bluegrass genre which came easily to him having already mastered the ‘picking’ technique of the ‘Maskandi’ music. Although different, David discovered that there was a subtle similarity between the Maskandi and Bluegrass genres.
His next project was to combine the 5-string banjo with the Maskandi style, which is unique and has revealed many interesting possibilities and in May 2009 he completed his first song ‘Life is a Never Ending Drum beat’ which combines the two.
In January 2010 he bought his first concertina, which now forms part of his instrumental accomplishments, and enhances his ability to produce the caliber of music he is aiming for.
In March 2011 he released his debut album, "Child of Africa", which he recorded with United Rhythms Studio in Durban. He is currently touring the United States, and continuing his musical studies.