Bassist and composer Benjamin Jephta (23) has already made a name for himself as one of South Africa’s premier jazz double bass and electric bass players. A graduate of the jazz program at the prestigious South African College of Music at the University of Cape Town, he graduated in 2013 with the fourth year class medal. Jephta has performed with a range of local and international musicians including McCoy Mrubata, Sibongile Khumalo, Paul Hanmer, Feya Faku, Jimmy Dludlu, Simphiwe Dana, Mark Fransman, Hugh Masekela, Melanie Scholtz, Marcus Wyatt, Bokani Dyer and many others. He is involved in various original projects ranging from playing double bass in a free jazz orchestra to synth-bass in a pop band. He currently operates from Johannesburg.
Growing up in Mitchells Plain, it was when he attended Muizenberg High School that he fostered a love for jazz under the mentorship of Fred Kuit (winner of the 2012 SAJE Lifetime Achievement Award in Jazz Education). Aside from performing in venues and festivals locally since the age of 15, Benjamin has also performed with various orchestras and small ensembles in Africa, Europe and Asia. Jephta currently spearheads two projects that play his original material. A six- piece African/fusion/funk project, called the Tribe of Benjamin and his acoustic quintet plays music drawing on gospel and South African roots, and features Kyle Shepherd (2014 Standard Bank Young Artist)(piano), Marcus Wyatt (trumpet), Sisonke Xonti (sax), Sphelelo Mazibuko (drums). With this quintet he released his debut album called ‘Homecoming’.