Trombonist and composer Jonas Gwangwa is a South African musical legend who over a span of more than 40 years has embraced his stature with grace and humility. The span of his musical career and the range of his accomplishments had him travel the world as an exiled MK soldier, collecting accolades at every stop. He is the first African to be nominated for an Oscar twice, for the original score of the film "Cry Freedom" starring Denzel Washington.
The score also achieved The Grammy, Bafta, Golden Globe and Anthony Asquith award nominations and won Ivor Novello and Black Emmy Awards. He left South Africa in 1961 with the first South African hit Musical “King Kong” and when the tour ended he ventured to the United States to further his education at New York’s prestigious Manhattan School of Music.
He continued to reside in the U.S for 15 years, earning immense recognition through the patronage of musical legend Harry Belafonte. Among his many achievements he composed music for the 70th Birthday celebration at Wembley Stadium, London in 1987, for the late former president Nelson Mandela and the Inauguration of President Thabo Mbeki in 1998.