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African Music

African Music is alive and well in Makana and is promoted by two institutions. The International Library of African Music (IIAM) at Rhodes University researches teaches and publishes recordings and books on the subject and has the biggest collection of recorded African Music, covering the vast area from the Equator to the Cape. Founded by Hugh Tracey in 1954, it is presently directed by his son, Dr Andrew Tracey. Andrew and his son, Geoffrey, teach African instruments they have learned over many years from experts in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and other African countries.


African Musical Instruments (AMI) makes a variety of beautiful African and African-derived musical instruments handmade from African woods by Grahamstown craftsmen. These include popular marimba sets and Kalimbas.


Makana is also home to many composers, arrangers and musicians. Grahamstown itself is the home of the longest standing “township jazz” band in the country, Sivile. Numerous concerts are given each year, ranging from the totally informal to those put on by music societies at the 1820 Settlers’ Monument in Grahamstown.