GOING PLACES: Sereetsi & The Natives

Sereetsi & the Natives is scheduled to star in Sweden’s premier world music festival known as Planetta.

The Gothenburg based festival has scheduled the Botswana act for a record four performances alongside some of the best musicians across the world. “I take the appearance at this festival seriously as it is my first on European soil. I look at it as the introduction of the native sound on European shores and an opportunity to break into that market,” says Sereetsi.

Sereetsi will be backed by some of the best Swedish musicians. “I am honoured to be working with these crop of highly experienced musicians who have backed some of the best world stars,” says Sereetsi.

While in Sweden, Sereetsi will also teach and conduct workshops for music students at Gothenburg’s Harryda School of Arts and Culture. “I will be at the school starting October 24th to November 6th 2016. It’s a great opportunity for cultural exchange and for putting Botswana’s best attributes on the map,” says Sereetsi, who is also the author of a Tswana guitar instructional book/CD entitled The Solo Four string Guitar of Botswana.

Sereetsi will then proceed to Stockholm on November 6th for a performance and workshops. He is due back home on November 13th.

Sereetsi & the Natives are a refreshing definitive reference in the contemporisation of folk music in Botswana and a unique voice in the World Music arena.

The act’s strong songwriting and performance in its debut album, Four String Confessions (May 2015), presents a fearless sound that blends traditional Botswana rhythms with Western influences, all built around the signature sound and tradition of the four string folk guitar.

The album has yielded a number of radio staples in Robete, Thaa Kokome, Ngwana’Ngu Wa Enda and Ke Boletsa Mongwe.

Sereetsi & the Natives employs master storytelling and poetic lyricism to offer social commentary on topical issues in contemporary Botswana and much of the developing world, sometimes as controversial as homosexuality, or as universal as love and conflict.

RISING STAR: Sereetsi performing a duet with Mtukudzi
RISING STAR: Sereetsi performing a duet with Mtukudzi

The act has already shared the stage with established World Music names like Oliver Mtukudzi, Vusi Mahlasela, Caiphus Semenya, Jaziel Brothers, Letta Mbulu and McCoy Mrubata.

They headlined the Gaborone International Music and Culture Week in August 2016 with US smooth jazz star, Jonathan Butler.

Sereetsi & the Natives has also collaborated on a recording and stage performance with US jazz band, Anthony Stanco and the Crucial Elements.

Its growing international performance credits include Chicago, USA, the upcoming Planetta World Music Festival in Gothenburg, Sweden (due November 2nd to November 6th  2016),  and a historic 10 date tour of South Africa (2016).

Sereetsi & the Natives is the first Botswana band to tour South Africa.

The 10 date tour took the act to Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and Mafikeng.

The act has also featured at the inaugural Mahika Mahikeng Jazz Festival (2015), Kgalagadi Jazz Festival (2016) and the Cultural Calabash Fest (2015) all of them in South Africa.

This is in addition to a busy festival and corporate gig schedule in Botswana. Among festivals Sereetsi & the Natives has played in Botswana are the Maun International Arts Festival, The Hamptons International Jazz Festival, Mascom Live Sessions and the President’s Concert.

Sereetsi is also considered a pioneer on the cultural landscape in Botswana. His 83 page guitar instructional book/CD on the local folk guitar tradition entitled The Solo Four String Guitar of Botswana is a groundbreaking first.

He continues to present workshops on the folk guitar tradition in Botswana and internationally.

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