'Bra Banza was an unsung hero'
Banza Kgasoan (65) died this morning.
JOHANNESBURG - Afro-pop band Mango Groove earlier confirmed former member Banza Kgasoane has died.
The 65-year-old trumpeter was reportedly ill when he died this morning.
Founding member John Leyden says the news came as a shock.
"Even though he had been ill we thought he was on the mend, so it has been a huge shock to us."
Kgasoane kicked off his musical career as the founding member of the platinum-selling Alexandra Brass Band before joining Mango Groove in the 90s.
Leyden says he helped define the band's style of music with his solos on Hometalk, Hellfire and Pennywhistle.
"For me he is the greatest trumpeter South Africa has produced and is an unsung hero in that way, because of his simplicity. He was an exquisite player who had that extraordinary ability to move you."
He says Kgasoane's style was rooted in early South African Jazz and Marabi, a style of township music that evolved in the country over the last century.
There has been an outpour of condolences following a post from his son and Micasa band member, Mo-T, who expressed his sadness over his passing.
RIP to Bra Banza... You lived an inspirational life. Our thoughts are with Mo T and his family! pic.twitter.com/rt0YxM5szj— Mi Casa (@MiCasaMusic) December 9, 2015
'Bra Banza' as he is more affectionately known, worked closely with Micasa when he featured alongside his son on the band's dance music video for Jika.
WATCH: Jika [Official Music Video]