Blu BamBoo is a South African music band unrivalled in terms of professionalism, versatility, presentation, and musicianship. Chanelle Davids (vocals), Nigel Morkel (Vocals), Brendan Ross (Alto Sax, Vocals, & Keyboards), Denny Lalouette (Bass), Marlon Witbooi (Drums), and Sydney Mavundla (Trumpet) make up the ensemble.
Blu BamBoo has the most diverse musical repertoire accessible, ranging from current Pop/Dance to Smooth Jazz & Latin, Disco, Rock & Roll and R&B, as well as South African Jazz and Kwaito. The band is also frequently hired as a stand-alone supporting ensemble for top-tier acts and musical events.
Vocals in the lead:
Channel your inner Davids.
Chanelle has been a dedicated performer since the age of nine, with her natural skills and abilities being recognised as early as her adolescence when she was chosen to represent South Africa in the World Championships of Performing Arts in Los Angeles. Chanelle focused on her professional singing career after graduating from the University of Johannesburg with a National Diploma in Fine Arts, working in numerous corporate events alongside some of our country's best, including Mortimer Williams, Tumisho Masha, and Craig Urbani. Chanelle was crowned second in the Miss Earth South Africa Final in 2012, where she had the opportunity to showcase her passion for community development and global environmental issues.
Vocals in the lead:
Nigel Morkel is a Cape Town native who used his early "street" credentials to establish himself as a fantastic dancer, singer, songwriter, and actor. Nigel studied theatre at John Vander Ross in 1994 and worked in PIC and Gods Disciples Gospel bands in 1995 before becoming a Coca Cola Popstars finalist in 2002 and joining the nationally recognised band Afro Z. During this period, he also shared the 2004 International Hip Hop Championship trophy.
Vocals in the lead,
Brendan Ross is an Irishman.
Brendan has performed live and filmed television and DVD performances with many top musicians from throughout the country as a keyboardist and sax player over the years. From Afro Café to "Dis my Storie" (2007 & 2008), "Deur die Mukke" (2008-2015), "Bring Jou Hart" and "Hart vol Drome" with top sellers Theuns Jordaan and Juanita DuPlessis. He was also a member of the critically praised 'Afrikaans is Groot' band in 2015.
Acoustic and electric bass:
Denny Lalouette is a Frenchman.
He is a Yamaha bass endorsee, a MarkBass amplifier endorsee, and an unofficial endorsee of NS electric upright basses. The respected American "Bass Player" magazine gave him a positive review for his bass work on Andy Narell's "Live in South Africa" record. He has played on thousands of recordings (over 2000 albums) and has appeared in countless commercials and TV shows, including being a member of the IDOLS band every year, Strictly Come Dancing (2006), Huisgenoot's yearly extravaganza "Skouspel", and the local Jerry Springer series, to name a few.
Sydney Mavundla is a South African.
Sydney was born in Johannesburg and raised in Barberton, Mpumulanga. He went to Durban at the age of 11 and began Cornet lessons from his father at the age of 12, which led to him playing with the Salvation Army Band. After tuition from Prince Lengoasa and additional lessons (and influence) from Brian Thusi, he was on his way to become a jazz musician by the age of 15. Theory lessons with Cyril Khumalo at the age of 18 enabled him to enrol at the University of Natal at the age of 21 for a B.Mus. degree under Darius Brubeck. As an exchange student from Natal, he attended Florida International University in 1995. He had the opportunity to take trumpet lessons from famed Cuban trumpeters Arturo Sandoval and John Bailey while there.
Mr. Marlon Witbooi
Witbooi has since performed alongside a number of well-known local and international performers, including Melanie Scholtz, Dan Shout, and Marcus Wyatt. He is a member of the Nomadic Orchestra, the Nicholas Williams Quartet, and the Bokani Dyer Trio, in addition to being the resident drummer in Blu Bamboo.
Witbooi has been a regular house band drummer on live broadcast television shows such as The Voice South Africa Seasons 1 and 2, as well as Coke Studio South Africa Season 2.
Marlon Witbooi is without a doubt one of South Africa's most brilliant young drummers, quickly rising to the top of the music field.
"It was AWESOME!!!!!!!! Thank you very much! They were great, as usual!!!!! "Everyone enjoyed it!"- Marsha Van Zyl, INVESTEC Events Director, April 2018
"From start to finish, the band's performance was absolutely outstanding!" Every member I was able to speak with across the board agreed. They delivered amazing enthusiasm, which was precisely what we were looking for, and it appeared that the band, who fed off the excitement, was as receptive as the crowd. I hope they had as much fun as we did! I want to thank Wendy and the entire Blu Bamboo team for your professionalism and energy. I hope we will cross paths again in the near future. I have no hesitation in recommending you."
Oct 2017 - Marco Tomasicchio, Director, XL INTERNATIONAL TRAVELS
"We loved having Blu Bamboo here; they're in a different league than the other bands we've seen."
- Karine Antonian, SHEPSTONE GARDENS Event Manager, March 2017