Blu BamBoo is a band unequalled in the South African music industry for its professionalism, versatility, presentation and musicianship. The group incorporates the renowned talents of Chanelle Davids (vocals), Nigel Morkel (Vocals), Brendan Ross (Alto Sax, Vocals & Keyboards), Denny Lalouette (Bass), Marlon Witbooi (Drums) and Sydney Mavundla (Trumpet).
Blu BamBoo features the most extensive repertoire of music available with styles ranging from current Pop/Dance to Smooth Jazz & Latin, Disco, Rock & Roll and R&B as well as South African Jazz and Kwaito. Additionally, the band is frequently booked as a stand-alone backing ensemble for top-flight artists and concert events.
Lead Vocals: Channelle Davids. Chanelle has been a keen performer since the age of 9 with her natural skills and abilities already being acknowledged in her early teens when she was chosen to represent South Africa in the World Championships of Performing Arts in Los Angeles. After graduating from the University of Johannesburg with a National Diploma in Fine Arts, Chanelle focused on her professional singing career by working in various corporate shows alongside several of our country’s finest such as Mortimer Williams, Tumisho Masha and Craig Urbani. In 2012 Chanelle was crowned 2nd in the Miss Earth South Africa Final where she was afforded the opportunity to express her passion for community development & global environmental concerns.
Lead Vocals: Nigel Morkel. Nigel Morkel hails from Cape Town where he capitalised on his considerable “street” credibility at an early age to turn himself into a superb dancer, singer, songwriter and actor. After studying drama at John Vander Ross in 1994 Nigel worked in PIC and Gods Disciples Gospel bands in 1995, became a Coca Cola Popstars finalist in 2002 and then moved on to became a member of the nationally acclaimed band Afro Z. Notably, he also shared the 2004 International Hip Hop Championship trophy over this time.
Lead Vocals, Sax, Keyboard: Brendan Ross. Brendan, as a keyboardist and sax player, has done numerous live and recorded television and DVD performances over the years with many top artists from around the country. From Afro Café to “Dis my Storie”, to “Deur die Mukke” (2007 & 2008), to Gospel Skouspel (2008-2015), to “Bring Jou Hart” and “Hart vol Drome” with top sellers Theuns Jordaan and Juanita DuPlessis. In 2015 he was also a band member for the critically acclaimed ‘Afrikaans is Groot’.
Electric & Acoustic Bass: Denny Lalouette. He is an endorsee of Yamaha basses, MarkBass amplifiers and unofficial endorsee of NS electric Upright Basses. He had a favourable review of his Bass work on Andy Narell’s “Live in South Africa” album in the respected American “Bass Player” magazine. The amount of recordings that he played on runs into the thousands (over 2000 albums) and he has also been on countless commercials and TV shows including being part of the IDOLS band every year, Strictly Come Dancing (2006), Huisgenoot’s yearly extravaganza “Skouspel”, the local Jerry Springer series, to name but a few.
Trumpet: Sydney Mavundla. Sydney was born in Johannesburg but was brought up in Barberton, Mpumulanga. At the age of 11 he moved to Durban and at 12 started having Cornet lessons from his father which resulted in him playing with the Salvation Army Band. By age 15 after lessons from Prince Lengoasa & further lessons (and influence) from Brian Thusi he was headed in the direction of Jazz. Theory lessons with Cyril Khumalo at age 18 enabled him to register at age 21 with the University of Natal for a B.Mus. degree studying with Darius Brubeck. In 1995 he went to Florida International University as an exchange student from Natal. While there he had the opportunity to have trumpet lessons from the legendary Cuban trumpeter, Arturo Sandoval and John Bailey.
Drums: Marlon Witbooi Witbooi has since gone on to play with top local and international artists including Melanie Scholtz, Dan Shout and Marcus Wyatt. In addition to being the resident drummer in Blu Bamboo, he is also a member of the Nomadic Orchestra, Nicholas Williams Quartet & the Bokani Dyer Trio. Witbooi has consistently been booked as the house band drummer on various live broadcast television series such as The Voice South Africa Season 1 & 2, as well as Coke Studio South Africa Season 2.Marlon Witbooi is undoubtedly one of South African’s most talented young drummers –fast making his way to the very top of the music scene.
“It was AMAZING!!!!!!! Thank you! They were just incredible, like always!!!!! Everyone loved it!”
– Marsha Van Zyl, Events Director, INVESTEC, April 2018
“The band’s performance was absolutely outstanding from start to finish! Every member across the board that I was able to chat to echoed the same. They brought an incredible energy which is exactly what we were looking for and it looked as though, as responsive as the crowd was, so were the band who fed off the energy. I hope they had as a good a time as we did! I thank you Wendy & the whole Blu Bamboo team for the professionality & energy. I hope for us to cross paths once again in the very near future. I will not hesitate to recommend you.”
– Marco Tomasicchio, Director, XL INTERNATIONAL TRAVELS Oct 2017
“We loved having Blu Bamboo here – they are in a different league to the bands we have seen around.”
– Karine Antonian, Event Manager, SHEPSTONE GARDENS, March 2017