Crooner Joel Zuma to deliver special Luther Vandross tribute

The late US crooner Luther Vandross’ spirit will come back to life in a special tribute on  Valentine’s Day. The So Amazing: A Tribute to Luther Vandross show will be delivered by singer, songwriter, actor, and theatre producer Joel Zuma.  

The tribute show aims to celebrate the late muso and his legacy through a special presentation of his classic ballads to help rejuvenate love on this special day.

Inspire people to fall in love

Zuma explained that the sole purpose was to inspire people to fall in love or find love again.

Zuma has hosted multiple events mimicking crooners such as Lionel Ritchie, Barry White, Marvin Gaye, and Caiphus Semenya, among others. He claims that his surroundings have always compared him to Vandross.

“I think it started after graduating with Drama from the Durban University of Technology. I was finding my voice as a singer. I don’t think I ever intended to sound like Luther Vandross. But people started to say we have similar voice types. Even when I am singing my own songs,” said Zuma.

Comparison is a compliment

“I have so much respect for Luther Vandross, and I think he is one of the best vocalists to walk on this planet. Being compared to him is a compliment.”

Zuma said he will perform the legend’s classic ballads, including Always and Forever, Here and Now, Power of Love, Superstar, and Buy Me a Rose, among others.

He said that his voice similarity to that of the R&B and soul stars has not necessarily boosted his career. It has only helped him to learn voice control and techniques.

Zuma said he has enjoyed delivering music from the superstars but claimed this was his year to finally release his kind of Zulu love songs on an Afro-soul album titled Essence of Love.

Authentic original

“My original songs are different from Luther Vandross’s, even though we both sing about love. I write about love in a South African context.

“I try to write most of my songs in my mother tongue, about my experiences with people around me. This makes my music authentic and reliable,” said Zuma.

SO AMAZING – A Tribute to Luther Vandross featuring Joel Zuma will be at the Joburg Theatre in Braamfontein on February 14. Doors open at 19:00, show starts at 20:00.


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