Mauritz Lotz is a legendary South African guitarist extraordinaire based in Johannesburg. LastFM says, “Lotz has worked with many South African artists such as: Mango Groove, Miriam Makeba, Lucky Dube, Hugh Masekela, Coleske, Steve Hofmeyer, P J Powers, Ed Jordan, Johannes Kerkorrel, Lesley Rae Dowling, Little Sister, Bles Bridges, Anton Goosen, NiaNell, Laurika Rauch, Joshua Na Die Reen, Eden, Reana Nel, Karen Zoid, Jannie Moolman, Juanita du Plessis, Drakensberg Boys Choir, Rina Hugo, Zwai Bala, Stimela, Leon Schuster, Theuns Jordaan, Sibongile Kumalo, Amanda Strydom, Soweto String Quartet, Ringo, Emo Adams, Annelie van Rooyen, Neil Soloman, Vusi Mahlasela, Nataniel, Carike Keuzenkamp, Soweto Gospel Choir, Dozi, Jannie du Toit, Piet Botha, Victor Musondo, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Sibongile Ngoma, Joseph Clark, Tim Moloi, Gloria Bosman, to name but a few. Internationally he has worked with Chris de Burgh, Shawn Phillips, Ice Cube, the Rolling Stones, Sting, Roberta Flack, “Mr Slow Hands” Eric Clapton, Margaret Becker, Lokua Kanza, Scott Wesley Brown, Dave Matthews, Marta Gomez, Stef Bos, Cristian Mangano, Dave Koz, Maude Myra, Krzesimir Debski, Patrizio, N’Faly Kayoute, Phil Manzenera, Crash Test Dummies.” It is his latest project with Phil Manzenera and a host of other South Africa’s outstanding guitarists that grabbed my attention.
With immense gratitude, we salute you
This latest project is a superb rock rendition of the South African national anthem that blew me away. I was introduced to this amazing instrumental rock Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrica by Louis Mhlanga a Zimbabwean-born phenomenal guitarist also based in Johannesburg. Louis is one of the first-class guitarists who collaborated with Mauritz on this project. I am really not a rock fan, even though I grew up listening to the likes of Jon Bon Jovi, Meatloaf, U2, The Cranberries, Guns n Roses and Aerosmith among many others. I had simply decided to lock up all rock in a soundproof box and threw the keys away. However, this rendition of the SA national anthem is simply remarkable!
The track is a tribute, in honour of the South African President, everyone on the frontline and those in essential services during the fight against covid-19. “With immense gratitude, we salute you!”
Lotz collaborated with Adele Hanekom to come up with this amazing concept. He then arranged and produced the track which was mixed by Robin Walsh at Assegai Audio Studio. The production was sponsored by Domains.co.za.
On electric guitars is UK based Phil Manzanera, Mauritz Lotz, Nathan Smith, Andy Innes, Alistair Coakley, Luke van der Merwe and Albert Frost. On acoustic guitars is Louis Mhlanga, Loki Rothman and Luke van der Merwe. And the bass guitarists are Denny Laloutte and Concord Nkabinde.
WATCH THE VIDEO:
Lotz is not only a guitarist but, a music composer, director and producer as well. He is the man behind various film and stage productions locally and abroad. Simply put, he is a music man! He is an award winning artist and has several award nominations to his name. In our telephone interview, Lotz says that awards are not the aim, just a bonus. “The passion for music is what makes me wake up in the morning. Without music I would probably be dead.” says Mauritz. His is a love story of a man and music. Lotz actually left school to pursue this romance with music, I believe he has no regrets at all. He had a brief stint in the United States but decided to give it all up to establish himself as musician at home, Africa. “Music is a universal language. Music unites us all as a human race and you don’t even need big event for it. You can do it in your own home.” says Lotz.
Lotz also reminisced on his time with legendary PJ Powers ‘Thandeka’. “I joined the band during the Jabulani time,” he says. “The olden days were really great. “I enjoyed working with some South African greats like Lucky Dube and Hugh Masekela. You see, music has no culture or race. It cuts across all boundaries. It’s really vast, diverse and very powerful. It is a language all on its own. I love world music tremendously”
“No-one can be duplicated. There can’t be another Louis Mhlanga, another Hugh Masekela, or another me. That’s makes it so vast and interesting. It is important to be as authentic as you can be, in what you do, in how you express yourself. I think we take and we use so much from others and we are inspired by it. I don’t think it’s wrong or right but, I think at some point in everyone’s creative journey whether it’s in literature, whether it’s in poetry, whether it’s in music, painting or sculpting, whatever their art is or their expression. You need at some point in your journey, you need to be at a crossroad where you know you can identify yourself in it. That is the most important thing that can happen to anyone who has a gift of expression. If music is mine, I don’t reinvent the wheel, but I know that whatever I do must have authenticity.” Says Mauritz
Do listen to the video and let me know what you think, as for me, I love it! Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrica! Happy Africa month… Stay safe!