Blu Bamboo

Blu Bamboo is one of the top cover bands in South Africa, they are a 5 or 6 piece band and have performed internationally for private functions and for blue chip clients.

Band Biographies

Veronique – Lead Vocals

Veronique has been a professional in the entertainment industry for over a decade now. She has shared the stage with some of SA’s top performing artists, such as Danny K, Loyiso, Juanita du Plessis, Steve Hofmeyer, PJ Powers… and many more.

She is also a highly acclaimed studio singer, with her vocal talents being used on numerous radio and television adverts. One of the bigest highlights of her career came in 2005, when she came 3rd in the local hit reality TV show, “Idols”. Her subsequent début album boasted a SAMA nomination, as well as two “No.1” hit singles in 2006. She wows audiences both locally and internationally with her dynamic stage presence and vocal range!

Being a performing artist runs deep in her veins __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Neil Ettridge – Drums / Percussion

Neill Ettridge was born and raised in Sussex, England. Upon leaving school, he continued studies at the Drum Institute in London and commenced playing in a number of diverse musical situations in the region including BBC TV and Radio Big Band engagements.

Along with a 6-month spell as resident shipboard drummer for P&O and Cunard, Neill also spent some time touring across the U.K and Europe with Jazz-Fusion band New Vintage and U.S.A Soul group The Tymes. On arriving in Southern Africa in the late 80s principally to back various visiting British and American artists such as Percy Sledge, Frankie Vaughn, O.C.Smith, George Williams, The New Seekers and Harry Bellefonte, Neill decided to come to South Africa in the early 90’s and continue freelance and studio work after completion of these contracts.

Along with an extensive workshop schedule, Neill has undertaken numerous music projects, including tours of Eastern Europe with the Light Years Jazz Quartet, supporting John McLaughlin at the Gdansk Jazz Festival and Moscow Conservatoire as well as participating in the Hong Kong Handover and Frankfurt Music Festival concerts representing South Africa with Mango Groove, and a world tour as drummer for the Soweto String Quartet.

Core work in S.A includes TV music shows, radio/television commercial jingles, record projects and live concerts with artists and producers such as Mango Groove, Africa Mkize, SSQ, The Light Years Jazz Quartet, Vicky Sampson, Mauritz Lotz, Johan Laas, Denzil Weale and Wessel Van Rensburg, and also work with a number of the Johannesburg- based orchestras. As a member of Jerry Springer’s Saturday Night house band, Neill has backed numerous other South African and international recording artists. He also features as backing musician in both the Idols and Project Fame TV series, playing alongside Earth Wind and Fire in the recent finals.

Neill embarked on a tour across the U.S in March 2007 as drummer / percussionist with one of South Africa’s top vocal groups and has recently returned from a month-long series of concerts all over Europe with leading U.S Vocal artist, Joe Clarke.

In addition to his workshop schedule as an international endorsee for Sonor Drums, Zildjian Cymbals and Pro-Mark Signature Drumsticks, Neill runs the very successful Drumlab group of teaching studios in South Africa. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Brendan Ross – Saxophone, Keyboards, Lead vocals

Brendan attended school in Port Elizabeth where he began studying music. By the age of 13 he was performing at restaurants with his fathers band “The Sapphires”. At 17 he wrote and recorded two songs for Radio Algoa that were used as “signature” tunes. Later that year he won the prize for “best talent” at the Eastern Capes ‘On The Go Show’.

In 1992 he relocated to Pretoria and after a few years in the air force band and studies at Pretoria Technikon musci dept., he took some time off to attend Berklee College of music in Boston, U.S.A, where he completed the Berklee performance program and was awarded a scholarship. He began working with a local jazz band called Light Years and the Vusi Khumalo band.

In 2000 he joined Johnny Cleg’s band as their saxophonist, backing vocalist and later, keyboardist. With Cleg, Brendan enjoyed extensive travels to all corners of the globe, giving him the opportunity to play at very prestigious events, sharing the stage with very well-respected artists and perform in front of very large audiences, the largest of which was headlining the opening of the Montreal Jazz festival main stage for a live audience of 125 000 people. Some other highlights with the Cleg band have been playing at the 46664 HIV/AIDS awareness concerts in Tromso (Norway) and George (South Africa), Madiba’s 80th birthday, performing with Peter Gabriel, Brian May of Queen, Annie Lennox and the Corrs to mention a few.

Brendan’s sax sound can be heard daily playing popular sax themes for the television series Binnelanders and until end 2011 Isidingo. In 2006 he set up a recording studio where he wrote, recorded and produced the channel logo music for SABC Africa. In 2007 he formed a joint venture and Co-wrote, recorded and produced SABC 3 Theme music with business partner Concord Nkabinde, as well as SABC 1 TV series Soul Buddyz and Soul City (seasons 9,10 and 11).

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 (2008-2011), to “Bring Jou Hart” and “Hart vol Drome” with top sellers Theuns Jordaan and Juanita DuPlessis.

In 2010 Brendan released his first solo record to great critical acclaim, which features many of the top musicians the country has to offer. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Denny Lalouette – Electric and Acoutic Bass / Backing Vocals

Denny was born in Mauritius, started playing guitar at age 8, emigrated to SA at age 14, started playing drums before moving over to Bass at age 16 and has been a freelance bass player since finishing high school in South Africa – where he has lived ever since.

As a result of being extremely experienced and proficient in so many types of music and having a thoroughly professional attitude, he is extremely sought after for studio as well as live work. He is constantly learning and always open to whatever is “the next big thing” and as a result stays on top of his game.

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.

Denny has also performed extensively in Prague, Warsaw, Gdynia, Moscow, Budapest, Switzerland, Germany, Holland, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Seychelles and many African Countries. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sydney Mavundla – Trumpet

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 and 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.

Back in South Africa, Sydney relocated to Johannesburg where he joined Steve Dyer’s “Southern Freeway” for a tour of Zimbabwe. He subsequently toured Germany, Holland, Zimbabwe and Cape Town with Steve Dyer in “Mahube”.

As well as playing with the Fat Sound, Sydney has played with many of South Africa’s star musicians such as Vusi Khumalo, Jimmy Dludlu, Victor Ntoni, McCoy Mrubata and the late Moses Molelekwa.

He often appears with Bruce Cassidy in the former’s “Hot Foot Sympathy Orchestra” Graham Scott Big Band and JMI ( Johannesburg Music Initiative Orchestra) and Mango Groove. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Nigel Morkel – Lead Vocals

Nigel Morkel hails from Cape Town where he matriculated from Grassdale SS. He capitalised on his considerable “street” credibility at an early age to turn himself into a superb dancer, singer, songwriter and actor.

Nigel was a drama student at John Vander Ross in 1994, in PIC and Gods Disciples Gospel bands in 1995. He became a Coca Cola Popstars finalist in 2002 and became part of the nationally acclaimed band Afro Z.

Nigel also shared the international hip hop championship trophy in 2004.

He joined Barnyard Theatre in 2005 and has until recently continued to perform for them in shows such as Surfin’ Safari, Born To Run, Glory Days, Buddy Holly amongst others.

He recently toured the Netherlands with Diamonds And Dust and has also just returned from touring in Turkey performing in That’s Entertainment.