African Soul artist Thabisa to perform at University of Saint Joseph

South African singer Thabisa opens the CT Local series with an eclectic mix of African soul, pop and jazz.

WEST HARTFORD — The University of Saint Joseph will hold a performance by South African, New Haven-based, singer Thabisa on Thursday, Nov. 8, in the Hoffman Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Opening act Luna & the Lost Souls also performs.

With her electrifying performances and velvet voice, Thabisa creates a sophisticated blend of African soul, jazz and original music. Incorporating Xhosa, Zulu, Venda, and English into her music, she celebrates the diversity and beauty of South Africa with her rich and harmonic vocals. Inspired by gospel and South African pop music and artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Amy Winehouse, and Norah Jones, Thabisa’s sultry, raspy voice and smooth rhythms melt listeners’ cares away. Now living in New Haven, she welcomes audiences into her heart with her diverse sound and love of music. Opening act Luna & the Lost Souls combines American folk-rock, world rhythm n’ groove, and honest storytelling.

Singer-songwriter and artist Thabisa was born in the dusty streets of Kwazakhele, South Africa. Finishing as a finalist in a local singing competition in 2012 led to an independent record deal that launched her career with two successful albums. The song “Vula” from her first album received a nomination for Best Video at the South African Traditional Music Awards. Thabisa has been based in New Haven since 2017. Outside of performing, she frequently volunteers with children, performing at schools and sharing culture through music. Hearing Thabisa, who calls herself “dynamite in a small package,” is sure to blow your mind. Full band includes Thabisa (New Haven), Chrissy Gardner (keys-New Haven), Jim Lawson (bassist-East Haven), Tim Kane (Trumpet-New Haven), Sam Oliver (drummer-Hamden), and Mark Pelliccio (Madison).

Luna & the Lost Souls is a Connecticut-based indie rock group headed by Angela Luna, a vocalist, music video director, and social activist who has performed with rock, hip-hop, and other musical groups across the country. The group’s sensual rock-n-groove sound leaves audiences wanting more incredible music, making it a perfect opening act for Thabisa’s performance.

“The CT Local series has been developed to share the best of Connecticut artistry with Connecticut audiences and we’re so looking forward to sharing two such bands; Thabisa and Luna and the Lost Souls,” says Steven Raider Ginsburg, director of the Autorino Center for the Arts.

Tickets are $12. Please call box office for senior discount. Tickets can be purchased at the Frances Driscoll Box Office, 860-231-5555 or online at