Inside Mandla Mlangeni’s TRC album “The Future Is Now”

Award-winning jazz trumpeter and composer Mandla Mlangeni’s Tune Recreation Committee (TRC) has released their 3rd album titled The Future is Now. The album, co-produced by the formidable jazz pianist Afrika Mkhize represents a new direction for the sound of the ensemble, as they create a canvas on which musical ideas are expressed freely and honestly, whilst drawing inspiration from a myriad of influencers and showcasing the evolution of the member’s own compositional styles.

The TRC comprises Damian Kamineth on drums, Nicholas Williams on bass, Reza Khota on guitar, and Mandla Mlangeni on trumpet.  The album features a selection of special guests in the form of Afrika Mkhize on piano, SAMA award-winning classical flautist Khanyi Mthethwa, multi-award-winning multi-instrumentalist Mark Fransman, Yonela Mnana on vocals, the 2020 Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz Sisonke Xonti on tenor and soprano saxophones, Gontse Makhene on percussion and a very special friend from Ethiopia based in the US, Haile Supreme on vocals.

“The idea behind the album was more towards achieving a group sound that represents a fresh approach to the canon of South African music, particularly jazz, ” says Mandla Mlangeni.  “We fused the influences of those who came before us such as Moses Molelekwa, Bra Hugh Masekela, Mam Busi Mhlongo, with elements of the jazz tradition in America and what that means to us. The offering also speaks to the constant deluge of new things hurled at us. Instead of digging deep within the wells of our personal journeys, we always seek validation in trying to be better than those around us. In many ways, The Future Is Now,= imparted a very deep and profound process in creating music and paying attention to the detail.”

The 10-track album, recorded on the eve of the 2020 Lockdown, took almost two years to complete and some of Mlangeni’s highlights include a dedication to Bra Hugh Masekela, a primary musical influence, entitled Wena Fela.  The song is also an ode to the artist and music activist Fela Kuti. Mangleni comments “Another heart-wrenching tune that stands out is the dedication written by me and Afrika Mkhize to fallen trumpet hero uBhut’ Roy Hargrove, whom I believe was the last great modernist of the jazz language and inspiration to all. Roy Hargrove embodied the ethos of true musicianship by constantly searching and never being confined to style or genre. The tune is aptly titled RH.”

The Future is Now is available on digital streaming platforms.  


In celebration of their third studio album The Future Is Now, the Tune Recreation Committee is primed to make a grand offering in a series of performances across a multitude of venues in and around Cape Town.  

Sunday 19 February 16:00

V&A Waterfront, Cape Town  

Thursday 23 February 19:00

Spin Restaurant and Gallery

*Friday 24 February 19:00

Alliance Francais du Cap 155 Loop St, Cape Town City Centre

*Sunday 26 February 16:00

Jazz In The Native Yards, 52 NY 138, Gugulethu, Cape Town


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