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Light Years Music, founded by Avzal Ismail, represent the cutting-edge of musical excellence in the contemporary South African music arena. We are not merely a service, but a special brand of service excellence. Our sole aim is to make your event a truly memorable one by providing you with the very best entertainment available.

This truly world class group specializes in Smooth Jazz, both Modern and African. It also features a mainstream jazz, fusion, Latin / Afro-Cuban and dance repertoire capable of exceeding the demands of any event, function or concert environment.

Collectively the group made history by being the first Jazz group from South Africa to tour Eastern Europe, with appearances in Moscow, Prague, Gdynia, Warsaw and Budapest. Wherever they performed, they received considerable critical acclaim.

Individually, each member of the group has also performed both nationally and internationally.

Lastly, Light Years Music has a social conscience and it is our policy to award a percentage of our earnings to specific charitable organisations.

Please contact us for a free quotation


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The core of the Light Years Music Band comprises of some of the most sought after musicians in SA


We do not believe in a “one size fits all” policy, but we are able to take care of all of your entertainment needs under one umbrella. As professionals in our field, with many years of experience, we are able to match your entertainment needs to your particular event with confidence and the highest degree of professional integrity.

We also, wherever possible, supply our own backline equipment at no additional cost to you.

Not only does the group’s repertoire cover a large range of contemporary and sophisticated styles, but Light Years is also particularly adept at handling background music of a more “complimentary” nature, where volume and ambience are a prime consideration.

The musicians who make up the group are all prime players in their field and have a vast range of experience in both the live, television and recording environment. They have featured with the likes of Vicky Sampson, Laurika Rauch, Johnny Clegg, Mango Groove, Ritchie Cole, The Soweto String Quartet, Chris De Burgh, Helmut Lotti, Andy Narrell and both the Johannesburg Festival and National Orchestras.

Each individual member of the group has also worked with numerous top international artists both in South Africa and abroad. Members of the band also formed part of the Jerry Springer Saturday Night house band.


Avzal with Quicy Jones
Avzal Ismail has worked with a host of top international names, including acclaimed violinist Regina Carter, Donald Harrison, Carl Andersen, Professor James Houlik, Bhakhithi Khumalo and many more. He also composed and performed the finalé for the opening ceremony of the World Summit for Sustainable Development which was held in Johannesburg. Avzal performed at the first inauguration banquet for President Thabo Mbeki.
Avzal with Jimmy Haslip and Russel Ferrante of the Yellowjackets
Avzal with the Cuban-American drummer, Horatio "El Negro" Hernandez
Avzal with the great Cuban pianist Chucho Valdez


Neill with George Duke, the famous American master musician, keyboard player and producer.
Neill Ettridge is one of the most accomplished drummers on the music scene today. He is a regular contributor to the SA Drummer magazine and heads up the Drum Lab from where he teaches, in addition to his countless live, studio and television appearances. He recently achieved a South African first by having his own signature series drum sticks endorsed by Pro Mark USA.
Neill on the set of Idols.


Denis with Andy Narell
Denis Lalouette is the premier bassist to hail from this country. He is a first call sideman for just about every artist locally and has also worked with top international names such as Andy Narell, Airto and Flora Purim and Joe Henderson, to name just a few.
Denis with Bianca
Denis with Johnny Clegg


Brendan with Peter Gabriel
Brendan Ross is recognised as one of the top saxophonists in South Africa. Some of the artists that he has worked with, either live or in a studio environment, include: Johnny Clegg (SA), Ladysmith Black Mambazo (SA), Peter Gabriel (UK), Mathys Roets (SA) as well as many other top artists.
Brendan with Johnny Clegg


Avzal, Denis and Neill enjoying breakfast with the late TK  

Going back in time ...

This photgraph was taken way back in 1990 when the band was originally formed!


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© 2007 - Light Years Music CC
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"Vantage" is Light Years Music's corporate function band and is arguably the most versatile outfit in the country today.

Their repertoire is vast and covers everything from sophisticated jazz and Latin jazz, for background listening during dinner, to taking up the tempo into a fully fledged party vibe for burning up those calories on the dance floor later on.


The group features Andrew Massey and Cat Hanson on vocals and a good time by all is guaranteed!

"Vantage" can be further expanded to include additional musicans should the client have the budget for a larger band. However, experience has proven that the band, as it appears here, is the perfect musical compliment to any function.

Naturally, the fact that the band members are among the finest, most experienced artists in the country, makes "Vantage" a truly special band.


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Café Latté, featuring Avzal Ismail and renowned SA saxophonist, Cathy Del Mei, is available to provide background music at corporate functions.

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© 2007 - Light Years Music CC
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Avzal Ismail has put together a very special show for corporate and awards events for those companies with a larger budget who demand only elite, top dollar entertainment and are willing to pay for it. The show is approximately an hour long and can be done in one of two ways:

a. A full one hour show without interruptions;
b. An "awards function" type show, with entertainment broken up between speeches and awards, as per the client's requirements.

As an added service, if the show is part of the actual awards ceremony, the band can create and perform customised lead on's and playoffs for the main award recipients.

The most popular theme for such an awards function is "A Night at the Oscars"

Ideally, the show works best as a 60 minute show set for an awards or corporate evening.

It consists of the following:

A 16-piece piece full Big Band under the baton of Mike Campbell and comprising:
4 x Trumpets
4 x Trombones
5 x Saxophones
as well as a traditional rhythm section made up of drums, bass and keyboards.

"Sisters Sentimental", who do an amazing act based on the Andrews Sisters (of WWII fame), consist of Véronique Lalouette ("V" of Idols fame), Wendy Twyford and Lara Stirton.

Four top class soloists, namely Tim Moloi, Kate Normington, Andrew Massey and Mandisa Bardill (or Samantha Peo) complete the act.

The show is narrated by the exceptionally talented Duane Rockwell who can also serve as M.C. for your function.




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The brainchild of Avzal Ismail, the show has already proven to be a huge hit with corporate audiences.

While not cheap, it is most certainly a fantastic and memorable show that will leave people breathless with delight.

Each and every musician and artist has been carefully handpicked and are currently at the top of their respective fields. The band also strikes a nice balance in terms of beng both politically as well as genderally correct by having female musicians as part of the band.

Please note that the cost of the show includes all rehearsals, transport to and from the venue in the Gauteng area (both for rehearsal and performances) as well as the final performance at the function itself. All backline is supplied by us at no extra cost, resulting in a substantial saving to the client.

This is truly an exciting, high impact and fantastic world class show and certainly stands head and shoulders above the currently available corporate entertainment in Southern Africa.

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© 2007 - Light Years Music CC
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The group can be expanded into the 10 piece Latin Fire Band. Latin Fire specialises in Cuban and Brazilian music and performs only as a show band. This includes a 3 piece horn section as well as a percussionist.

The group has a high impact 50-minute Latin/salsa show, featuring Véronique Lalouette, that is unique to South Africa. The show consists of traditional Latin salsa tunes as well as modern Latino hits, consisting of Cuban, Brazilian and Latin pop music.

Perfect to get you in the mood for a serious party!

Please note that dancers can be booked with the above for an additional fee.

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© 2007 - Light Years Music CC
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Unsolicited testimonials from some of our clients

Dear Avzal,

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the everything that you had arranged for the Soweto Wine Festival. It was as always a wonderful opportunity working with you! 

We look forward to working with you in the near future.

Kind regards
Bianca Niedermayr

Mason Company
Accounts Co-ordinater

cell: 082 890 7121
tel:  (011) 807 7797
fax: (011) 803 5159

Hi Avzal,

A sincere thank you from everyone at O’MAGE for your involvement in the PG Bison Exhibition production.

Your talents were admired and your professionlism appreciated. 

Looking forward to working with you again on VW Bus.






Thanks Avzal so much for the delightful music you provided for our banquet last Tuesday evening.

Everyone present commented on the excellent selection of the programme and the professional way in which it was performed.

With much appreciation.

Kindest regards,


Grant Rogerson, Group Executive - Corporate Relations
Allied Electronics Corporation Limited (Altron), 1947/024583/06
P O Box 981, Houghton, 2041
Altron House, 4 Sherborne Road, Parktown, 2193, Johannesburg, South Africa
Tel: 011-6453643 (Int. +2711-6453643)
Fax: 011-7263009 (Int. +2711-7263009)
Cell: +2782-3201010 (Int. +2782-3201010)
Web: www.altron.co.za


Dear Avzal

I would like to thank you for the work you put in for the Women in Water Awards. It was a very professional and slick act. We are very proud to have had you on our first gig as a fully fledged Production House.

Please extend our thanks to Denis, Rob, Khanya, Véronique and Brendan.

Payment has been made and we look forward to working with you again.

Warm regards,

Megan, Elton and Graham

Megan Willson

m: 082 852 4547
e: megan@360degrees.co.za
t: +27 11 782 1663
f: +27 11 782 2024
a: 249 barry hertzog avenue, 2195 emmarentia

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We are proud to have the following institutions on our Client List:

Dimension Data

  Major Productions (sub contract)
Hewlett-Packard   Hands On Productions (sub contract)
The President's Cup Golf (Fancourt)   Siemens
The Million Dollar Golf Tournament   Eskom
The Altron Group   Lucent Technologies
Afro-Arab Trade Affair   Musicon Productions
Alpha Cement   ABSA
The Events Company (sub contract)   Nedbank
360 Degrees (sub contract)   SCMB
The Presidential Inauguration Banquet   Standard Bank
Oracle   Toyota
Freightliner Trucking (launch)   Volkswagen
The Mad Hatter (sub contract)   Johannesburg Stock Exchange
Microsoft SA   Vodacom
British American Tobacco SA   The International Veterinary Science Ass.
L'Oreal   World Summit for Sustainable Development
The Mason Company (sub contract)   Commonwealth Games - Malaysia 1998
The Emperor's Palace   Tourism South Africa
About Entertainment (sub contract)   Entertainment Africa (sub contract)
Shell   Engen

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© 2007 - Light Years Music CC
All Rights Reserved

Designed and Hosted  by
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