Dr Cara Stacey, senior lecturer in African Music at the School of Music at the North-West University (NWU), has just been named this year's winner of the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Music. This award recognises her exceptional talent as a composer and performer.
Her music is described by the National Arts Festival Artistic Committee as “rich and complex, and at the same time beautifully accessible”. They also say that “[h]er practice envelops indigenous and electronic music through the filters of history, social issues and nature. Her work draws from life and forms bridges for the listener to access worlds that might have been elusive to them.”
Apart from the piano, she performs on various African music instruments such as the uhadi, umrhubhe, makhoyane, budongo and mbira. In addition to solo performances, she also collaborates regularly with other musicians, and has released four albums already. As a musicologist, her research focuses on indigenous southern African music and musical traditions, which she is committed to contextualise and preserve.