Buy a CD To date Buskaid has recorded 4 CDs, with a fifth, Crazy due for release later this year (2007). The first, A Sowetan Kid's Christmas, was recorded eighteen months after the Project's inception. The vibrant second album, Soweto Dance, recorded under the direction of Rosemary Nalden, is a very special contribution to South Africa's rich and diverse musical culture and highlights the extraordinary talent there is to be found in South Africa. The irrepressible spirit, found on our third CD 
Tshwaranang, is expressed by one of our members Jackey Masekela When Africans are happy; they sing. When they are sad; they also sing. Our Buskaid Live! (double album) is the album Buskaid fans worldwide have been waiting for - a compilation of extraordinary live international performances by the Soweto-based Buskaid Ensemble between 2001 and June 2005.

Buskaid CD Store

How to Order:


Buskaid has several CDs and a DVD available for purchase, including its 2018 releases, ‘Sunrise’ and ‘Movies & More’. To find out more about each CD, please see the descriptions below.


Once you have chosen, simply follow the link at the bottom of this page to Buskaid’s trusted payment platform, Charity Checkout. This will open a new window, where you can select the number of the CDs you would like to purchase, and complete your order.


Please select the appropriate postage for your location, and add this to your order. The postage is the same for orders of from one to 10 CDs. If you wish to buy more than 10 CDs, please add two postage items.


Please note that if you live in South Africa, because of the unreliability of its postal system, CDs must be ordered from the Buskaid SA office. To do so, please contact the Buskaid office on 011 442 9676 or on

To order, please visit our payment platform at:




NEW RELEASE! Sunrise (CD) - £12.00



In July 2002 members of the Buskaid Ensemble gathered at Snape Maltings in Sussex, England, to record their arrangements of traditional township music for their second disc, Tshwaranang (Unite). Since then the Ensemble has grown and flourished, developing into a group with an international reputation for producing high quality performances of classical music. These are always rounded off by a unique element, namely Buskaid’s arrangements of traditional South African township music - a joyous outburst of energy, dancing and singing which invariably sends the most staid of audiences home in the highest of spirits. 


Even the Buskaid musicians have lost count of the arrangements they’ve made since recording their first Kwela CD, but somehow they all managed to recall their favourite Gospel, Kwela and Afro-Pop songs during five days of recording at the Edge, St Mary’s School, Johannesburg in January 2015. Bearing in mind that - in true folk tradition - none of this music is written down, but transmitted aurally, this was no mean feat. The absence of sheet music also posed a problem for Nick Parker, who was recording and producing this CD. Happily, Sonja Bass, Buskaid’s cello and bass teacher, came up with a solution by creating a series of ‘maps’ for Nick to use in both production and post-production.


With its release of Sunrise, Buskaid has achieved the distinction of producing South Africa’s most extensive collection of string arrangements of its traditional township music.



NEW RELEASE! Movies & More (CD) - £12.00



Movies & More was recorded at a special concert given by the Buskaid Soweto String Ensemble at the Linder Auditorium, Johannesburg, in November 2017. This performance of arrangements of film and popular music was part of Buskaid’s 20th anniversary celebrations. Highlights include music from Game of Thrones, James Bond, Disney, Bruno Mars, Coldplay, and Afropop.



Crazy (CD) - £10.00



This compilation of Timothy Kraemer’s brilliant and original string arrangements of favourite classic pops, including Mamma Mia, Sweet Dreams and many others, also includes several witty arrangements by Bill Thorp, of Broadway hits such as Let’s Do It and Makin’ Whoopee. Three of the Ensemble’s musicians also feature as vocal soloists in such favourites as Georgia, Fever, Son of a Preacherman and Bridge over Troubled Water. The fresh and energetic sounds of this wonderful group of musicians are complemented by stunning packaging designed by South African designer Aubrey Kurlansky.



Buskaid Live! Double Album (CD) - £10.00



Released in 2005, Buskaid Live! is a compilation of extraordinary live international performances by the Buskaid Ensemble between 2001 and June 2005. This double album features a breathtaking rendition of Grieg’s Holberg Suite, as well as the romantic slow movement of the Elgar Serenade, recorded in Southwark Cathedral in 2002 by the Ensemble under the baton of Sir John Eliot Gardiner. In addition, the internationally acclaimed mezzo-soprano Bernarda Fink sings Handel arias and Spirituals in a performance recorded in London in 2001. Also featured are talented soloists from within the Ensemble, including the charismatic vocalist Teboho, the wonderfully earthy singer Mathapelo, exciting lead violinists Samson and Kabelo, and the haunting sounds of cellist Innocentia.


The Ensemble’s Director, Rosemary Nalden, writes, ‘As an overview of our students’ grasp of music style these recordings could scarcely provide a more comprehensive range of examples.’ Composers include Biber, Farina, Mozart, Bartok, Massenet, Albinoni, Tchaikovsky, and Purcell, as well as those on the lighter side, such as John Williams.  And of course there is also quite a bit of traditional South African Kwela music! All the tracks on this double album were recorded by top engineers and producers at Buskaid concerts, and combine the spontaneity and excitement of live performances with the musicality and attention to detail which have become Buskaid’s hallmark.


An added bonus is the beautiful packaging of this double album, designed by South African Aubrey Kurlansky. The 34-page booklet is full of beautifully reproduced photographs of the young musicians, and also contains imaginative sleeve notes written by the Buskaid students. The CD production and booklet design were funded by Siemens, with Supporting Grant Funding from Business and Arts South Africa.



Tshwaranang (Unite)  (CD) - £10.00



The Buskaid Ensemble’s collection of its own magical arrangements of traditional South African Kwela music - including a number of stunning vocal solos - was recorded at the Snape Maltings in July 2002. Samson Diamond, then leader of the Ensemble, wrote:


 “This recording is a complete joining of happiness, spirit and rhythm, and hence it is called Tshwaranang (Unite). This CD unifies our predecessors, our contemporaries and the Buskaid Ensemble with anyone and everyone who purchases this CD. However, the whole production of the CD went too quickly for me....and although it was just work-work-work, it gave an insight to everybody’s capabilities of achieving good results in a short space of time.”


Jackey Masekela, a former member of Buskaid, explains: 


“When Africans are happy; they sing. When they are sad; they also sing. Most African pieces were composed back in the 1950’s when apartheid was very strong. In those days life was tough but black people really have a way of turning their sadness and sorrow into joy and yet creating memories which we all embrace and respect even though we were not around in those days. The African tunes we play are classified as Kwela music and the word ‘Kwela’ came from the police who would raid people’s homes for one thing or another and if one didn’t have the required documents, they’d be 
taken into a police van and the police man would say ‘Kwela-Kwela’ which means ride. Police vehicles were even known as kwela-kwelas and a pennywhistler who’d be found playing on a street corner in a ‘whites only’ area would go into the kwela-kwela.”


Buskaid and the members of the Ensemble are indebted to De Beers and Nedbank for their generous sponsorship of Tshwaranang, which was launched at the magnificent Nedbank Atrium in Sandton on 10 July 2003.


Soweto Strings (DVD) - £10.00



Soweto Strings tells the extraordinary and moving story of the Buskaid project in Soweto, Johannesburg. Established in 1997 by British viola player Rosemary Nalden, Buskaid, which gives local township children the opportunity to learn classical stringed instruments virtually free of charge, has transformed the lives of many youngsters and produced musicians of international quality. Under Rosemary Nalden’s direction, the Buskaid Ensemble has played in many of the world’s most prestigious concert halls, and its performance at the 2007 BBC Proms in London won it unanimous critical acclaim. In 2009 Gramophone magazine identified the Ensemble as one of the world’s ten most inspiring orchestras.


Award-winning filmmaker Mark Kidel followed the project’s work for over two years, focusing on a number of musicians at different stages of the journey towards the mastery of their instruments. He also highlights Rosemary Nalden’s phenomenal success at inspiring young musicians who have grown up in exceptionally difficult circumstances.


The documentary culminates in extracts from a breathtaking concert by the Buskaid Soweto String Ensemble at Paris’s Cité de la Musique, where the French audience responded with a well-deserved standing ovation. The thrilling programme includes works by Mozart, Grieg, Rameau and Bartók as well as some popular encores, with vocals by the project’s young singers, and the Buskaid musicians’ own string arrangements of traditional South African township kwela. In the sequence of Rameau dances, the orchestra is joined by a group of spirited African dancers from Cape Town’s community project Dance for All.



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