Sereetsi & the Natives
Sereetsi & the Natives
Genre - Botswana Contemporary Folk
Sereetsi is the composer, guitarist, producer, arranger and singer behind the music. The Natives are the supporters, the fans and the audience.
The 'natives' refers to the fact that the foundation of the Sereetsi & The Natives product is the musical heritage of the native cultures of Botswana. It is an acknowledgement by Sereetsi that his songwriting and production exploits the sonic and rhythmic templates that have been handed down orally over generations of the people of Botswana. The native is not only an individual native to Botswana. The term also refers to anyone at any particular moment who connects with the sound and spirit of the music.
Sereetsi & the Natives is a refreshing unique voice in the World Music arena. The act's strong songwriting and performance in its debut album, Four String Confessions (April 2015) and its sophomore studio outing, Motoko (April 2018), present a fearless sound that blends traditional Botswana rhythms with influences such as jazz, pop, blues and classical music. At the heart of the Sereetsi & The Natives’ sound is the signature sound and unique tradition of the Tswana four string folk guitar.
The debut album yielded four Botswana Music Awards in 2016 - Best Single, Best Male Artist, Best Folk Album and Best Newcomer. Sereetsi & The Natives boasts of a steadily growing international performance credit. Sereetsi & The Natives started 2020 with a performance in Netherlands at the Utrecht Tourism Fair in January and was billed to perform at ITB in Berlin, Germany, in March. On return from Germany, he was scheduled to play Hamptons Jazz Festival alongside other stars from six African countries.
Despite the year having just started, Sereetsi was already booked for festivals and gigs in Botswana, Zambia, Uganda, Lesotho and Sweden. That was until Covid19 wrecked havoc across the world! The act closed off 2019 by putting on a spectacular showing at one of Africa’s biggest festive season musical extravaganzas, The Vic Falls Carnival in Zimbabwe (December 30, 2019). This followed a second mini-tour of Sweden with 6 dates in Stockholm and Gothenburg in September 2019. The act started 2019 bringing the house down at the internationally acclaimed Bushfire Festival in eSwatini (May 24, 2019) with a riveting stage performance before heading out to Europe to play the Whitsun Heritage Festival in Hungary (June 9, 2019).
Still in June 2019, Sereetsi & The Natives thrilled audiences in Nairobi, Kenya playing the Artistic Encounters Series at the Goethe Institut on June 26th 2019 and the popular Thursday Nite Live at J’s Westlands on June 27th 2019. Some of the act’s other international performances to date include a stop-over in Chicago, USA (2016), dates in Stockholm, Sweden (2016) and a showing at Planetta World Music Festival in Gothenburg, Sweden (2016).
Sereetsi & The Natives has also starred at Ake Arts & Book Festival, Lagos, Nigeria (2018), Sesolo Festival in Mozambique (2018) and in South Africa; the Moshito Street Festival (2018), Mahika Mahikeng Jazz Festival (2018, 2016 & 2015), Kgalagadi Jazz Festival (2016 & 2017) and the Cultural Calabash Fest in Durban (2015).
The act has also played the International Jazz Day Concerts in Namibia (April 2019) and further embarked on a 10 date tour of South Africa in 2016. In Botswana, Sereetsi & The Natives has headlined all the major live music festivals and continues to maintain a busy corporate gig schedule. The act headlined the Gaborone International Music and Culture Week in August 2016 with US/SA smooth jazz star, Jonathan Butler, and returned in 2018 alongside Musiq Soulchild. And is set to headline the 2020 edition on August 29, 2020. Sereetsi & the Natives has also played the Maitisong Arts Festival, Maun International Arts Festival, The Hamptons International Jazz Festival (and has been booked to headline the 2020 edition on March 28th), BNSC Awards, Mascom Live Sessions, Son of The Soil and the President’s Concert, the three-day Okavango Delta Music Festival.
Sereetsi & The Natives has shared the stage with, among others, Anthony Hamilton, Zahara, Selaelo Selota, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Oliver Mtukudzi, Caiphus Semenya, Letta Mbulu, Jonas Gwangwa, Stimela & Ray Phiri and Freshlyground, among many others. In 2017, Sereetsi collaborated with Zambian star Mumba Yachi and South African bassist and singer AusTebza in a project called Kgalagadi Soul that played festivals in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Gaborone, Mafikeng and Durban. Sereetsi is also considered a pioneer on the cultural landscape in Botswana. His 83 page guitar instructional book/ CD on his native folk guitar tradition entitled The Solo Four String Guitar of Botswana is a ground breaking first.