A unique instrumental music in a category of its own, Tananas exudes a warm African acoustic space that fills the soul with a peace lacking in a lot of music today. Their musical arrangements are the ideal showcase for the rhythmic artistry of Ian Herman, the sensitive afro bass of Mozambican Gito Bloi (RIP) and the virtuoso acoustic guitar style of Steve Newman. Their collective understanding of SA music and their response to their environment has lead them to an exciting and distinctive synthesis of African and Western musical forms.
Tananas, (pronounced tuh-naa-nuhs) formed in 1987. Originally it consisted of Mozambican Gito Baloi (bass and vocals), Ian Herman (drums and percussion) and Steve Newman (acoustic guitar). First recorded by the independent label Shifty Records. Tananas combines jazz, Mozambican salsa and township jive (or mbaqanga). They released eight albums, the last two on the Sony label.
Tananas built a loyal following in their home country, and performed at WOMAD festivals around the world. They worked individually or as a band with Paul Simon and Sting, and have shared a stage with the likes of Bonnie Raitt, Suzanne Vega and Youssou N’dour.
The band broke up in 1993, but have reunited occasionally since then.