Photo by Gregory Franz

"Ernestine Deane is a Capetonian musical institution in and of herself. A remarkable talent and respected peer of mine since the 1990s when we recognized the need for intentional industry creation interventions in the interest of inclusive nation and culture building in the democratic South African era. I am today, more than two decades later, still in awe of her and her work. She has an uniquely dexterous voice, massive range not only in pitch but also projection, style, texture, phrasing and the capacity to emote and take audiences with her. And she is an exceptionally skilled improviser - perhaps the most exciting part of any artist's creative capacity as I see it. I love working with her. She touches me deeply, every time."

- Adrian Brand, Springbok Nude Girls

Ernestine Deane is an urban African voice sharing ancient African stories, based in Cape Town South Africa and known for her distinctive emotive vocals, laid over chilled, uplifting grooves. 


As a solo artist in music, film and theatre performance, Ernestine has a career spanning more than two decades.   She has worked with the likes of Zolani Mahola, Godessa, Simphiwe Dana, Errol Dyers, Neo Muyanga, Miriam Makeba, Cesaria Evora, Morcheeba, Breyten Breytenbach,  & the Springbok Nude Girls.   At the Red Bull Academy, she collaborated with London drum ‘n bass producer Ben Zinc, as well as Wally Badarou, producer of the Countryman soundtrack, and South African producer Black Coffee. 


Ernestine launched her career with legendary hip-hop group Black Noise and then went on to join the iconic SA band Moodphase5ive.   Moodphase5ive headlined festivals and events around the country, whilst also supporting international acts such as Jazzanova in Prague, Asian Dub Foundation at Womad, and the Ninja Tunes tour with Amon Tobin in SA. 

After a few years of living in Europe and performing at top festivals and stages on that continent, Ernestine has recently returned to Cape Town and embarked on a whole new stage of musical growth and exploration.  She continues to be inspired by the stories of South Africa, particularly the Cape.  

Ernestine's music weaves together a tapestry of jazz, reggae, goema, funk and soul to support her passionate vocals.   Her new material speaks of love, relationships, moments of beauty in life and the bonds that connect us all.  Ernestine's music also often refers to human rights issues that are particularly relevant to South Africans: post-colonialist poverty, dispossession of land, the oppression of women, violence and societal breakdown, but also shines through with a belief of hope, healing and empowerment.  

Ernestine is a mesmerizing live act and has performed at festivals including the Haarlem Jazz festival, Oppikoppi, Womad, Pukkelpop, Rocking the Daisies the & Cape Town International Jazz Festival.  


She released two albums with Moodphase5ive, Steady on and Superdeluxe Mode, and then her debut solo album, Dub for Mama, as well as contributed and featured on numerous albums by other artists.   


Ernestine is now working with an all woman band on her new material, with her latest single, Flow, produced by Gabi le Roux (known for his work with Mandoza and other top SA artists), due for release in 2018. 

Connect with Ernestine
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