The Sabbath

Music / Beethoven Room

The Sabbath is a series of compositions written for a string quartet by jazz singer and composer Gabi Motuba. The project is inspired by moments of bearing witness which could be seen as taking into account historical events. It is an attempt to understand, think through and tend to these historical moments.

The Sabbath is also a very personal project. It was created around 2020 when the pandemic was at its peak. News of loved ones perishing forms the backdrop to this work. It not only attempts to think through moments of violent past and present encounters, it also seeks to be a sanctuary for those attempting to come to terms with great tragedy.

‘… Not only is this some of the most interesting music I’ve heard this year, it’s also some of the most strikingly beautiful.’ – Gwen Ansell

Please note that this is a Rhodes University venue and as such you will be required to show your vaccine certificate or a negative test no older than 72 hours or proof of Covid positive status within the last three months.


Singer and Composer: Gabi Motuba
Double Bass: Thembinkosi Mavimbela
Cello: Themba Mashobane
Viola: Tiisetso Mashishi
Violin 1: Kabelo Mannathebe
Violin 2: Stella Mtshali

Sound engineer: Tshepo Mothwa

Visuals: Zen Marie

Photographer: Mvelo Mahlangu


Gabi Motuba is a South African award-winning jazz singer and composer. She obtained her degree at the Tshwane University of Technology where she majored in jazz studies.
In 2015, Gabi was commissioned to co-composed music for vocals, cello, piano and drums, during a Swiss Artist Residency program. The compositions became part of her debut duo album, Sanctum Sanctorium featuring Swiss pianist Malcolm Braff. In 2017, Gabi composed 10 string quartet compositions. These compositions formed
part of her debut solo album, Tefiti-Goddess of Creation. The Tefiti album was nominated for a 2019 South African Music Award for Best Alternative Album. 2019,
Gabi, was commissioned by the South African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) to compose and arrange a composition (Those Lost in Time) which has been published on their website.
In 2021, Gabi was commissioned by Concerts SA and Kaya FM to produce 5 string quartet compositions, under the project The Sabbath, which were then published as part of the Kaya FM Artist Residency Program. The podcast is available on the Kaya FM website. Gabi has also been selected to be part of the 2022 international cohort of the Mutual Mentorship for Musicians program which is a platform created to empower female musicians all over the world through a radical model of mentorship and musical collaborative commissions.
Gabi is currently on a residency at Soweto Theatre as music facilitator and educator. The composition workshops centre on Butch Morris’ original concept, Conduction. The residency also affords Gabi space, support and resources to cultivate concepts that will also assist in developing the Soweto Theatre Music Tutorial Programme.

  • Venue: Beethoven Room
  • City: Makhanda
  • Location: First floor of the Rhodes Music Department, Somerset Street, Grahamstown, Makhanda, 6139.
  • Ticket Price: R75.00
  • Genre: Music
  • Duration: 35mins
  • Ages: All Ages
July 01, 2022   16:00 - 16:35
July 02, 2022   10:00 - 10:35
July 02, 2022   15:00 - 15:35
July 03, 2022   10:00 - 10:35