Trans Kalahari Quintet

photo: Khwezi Nsibande

The Trans-Kalahari Quintet (TKQ) is an instrumental Afro-jazz ensemble comprised of musicians from the United States, Botswana, and Zimbabwe. The band was formed as a quintet by Arthur “Makhwenkwe” Mengwe in 2010, but has steadily added regular members and featured artists over the past decade of collaborative work. The majority of the TKQ band members are based in Gaborone, Botswana – Matt Dacso, the tenor saxophonist, is based in Galveston TX, where he is a full-time physician and is on the medical school faculty at the University of Texas Medical Branch. He lived in Botswana full-time from 2009-2011 but returns regularly to perform and record with the TKQ. Lead guitarist Zacharia “Zakes” Gwaze is from Zimbabwe, but has worked with and trained southern African jazz legends over more than 60 years of work and has called Botswana home for decades. Brian Nyakurukwa, also from Zimbabwe, is a household name in Botswana, where he has backed numerous local musicians on the bass for over 20 years. Lekofi Sejeso rose to fame in the 1980s and 1990s with the legendary Botswana Afro-jazz band “Afro Sunshine,” and served as the regular keyboardist for the TKQ until he passed away suddenly in 2022. Makhwenkwe started his drumming career with the Botswana Defense Force, but has backed many jazz artists in Botswana and South Africa over his 40+ years of work. Renowned musicians Dingalo Mpoalise (percussion) and Andrew Chinganga (saxophone) joined the group as regular performers in 2016.

AT LAST MO LAPENG is the second volume of a compilation of music that spans nearly a decade of critically-acclaimed collaborative work. These original tunes include contributions from Botswana legend guitarist John Selolwane, the late Shabani Mwanasande as well as Houston-based musicians Andrew Lienhard (keyboard) and James Metcalfe (percussion). This project is dedicated to the memory of pianists Elliot Morgan and Lekofi Sejeso, who gave of themselves to help make TKQ’s music a reality and are resting at home at last.


The Long Journey Home

Release Date: October 9, 2020
Catalog Number: AR0014
21st Century
Trans-Kalahari Quintet’s THE LONG JOURNEY HOME, the latest release from Ansonica Records, is a cross-continental exploration of jazz, funk, and South African cultural traditions. Saxophonist and composer Matthew Dacso met his bandmates while serving in Botswana as a doctor. Now, he proudly presents this unique musical fusion to audiences around the world.