It has been six years since Thandiswa Mazwai last released an album, and she breaks the long hiatus with a nine-track jazz album Belede, which is named after her late mother.

The accomplished Afro-jazz maestro couldn’t hide her excitement and anticipation of the launch, writing on her Twitter page, “This album…:) I am grateful. It was meant to sooth my pain and it is doing that in such a beautifully quiet way”.

“This is the day that the lord has made…:)  Launch performance at Soweto theatre tonight [insert dancing woman emoji] TICKETS SOLD OUT but TOUR DATES will be announced,” she said.

Following on the success of her last two solo albums Zabalaza and Ibokwe, the new album will be Mazwai’s third solo studio album.

Thandiswa Mazwai – Belede album launch on tonight. Photo: Thandiswa Mazwai/Facebook
Thandiswa Mazwai – Belede album launch on tonight. Photo: Thandiswa Mazwai/Facebook

The upcoming album, a jazz tribute, will see her revisit classic anthems by Busi Mhlongo, Caiphus Semenya, Letta Mbulu, Hugh Masekela, Dorothy Masuka and Miriam Makeba.

“It has been six years since I released new music, which is how I have always worked. I have been away writing. My fans should not expect that much of a departure from my past sound,” she said.

She worked with drummer Ayanda Sikade, pianist Nduduzo Makhathini and bassist Herbie Tsoaeli on the album.

Mazwai revealed that she would release another album in the next eight months or so – this time with new original songs.