Vuma Levin is a multi-award-winning guitar player from South Africa. With a string of accolades under his belt, including performances at some of the most prestigious festivals and venues around the world such as The North Sea Jazz Festival, Montreux International Jazz Festival, Cape Town International Jazz Festival, The Bimhuis, and Moods Jazz Club, he has cemented his status as one of the leading talents in South African jazz. In September 2021, Vuma Levin achieved a major milestone in his career when he was named the Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz, a coveted award that is widely recognized as the highest honor for an artist in South Africa. His new album, an orchestral undertaking titled The Past is Unpredictable: Only the Future is Certain, is an attempt to create a work that is commensurate with the scale of this achievement.
Recorded across three cities, Johannesburg, Basel and Amsterdam, the album features some of contemporary jazz’s most important young voices, including (but not limited to) Ben van Gelder (Netherlands, Saxophone), Xavi Torres (Piano, Spain), Bokani Dyer (South Africa, Piano), Shane Cooper (South Africa, Bass) and Matthias Spillman (Switzerland, Trumpet).
Conceptually and aesthetically, the project utilizes South African traditional indigenous musical practices and instrumentation as its basis. These are reread and reinterpreted through the lens of contemporary South African jazz, popular music, innovations emerging out of the nascent new music, improvised and jazz scenes in Switzerland and the Netherlands and the orchestral dimensions of Western Art music.