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The Melisizwe Brothers

The history of popular music is filled with the stories of remarkably talented siblings who practice their craft under the same roof, share a communal vision, and go on to make a dramatic impact. There's something unique and compelling about brothers and sisters whose gifts reveal themselves at an early age and whose bond is expressed through making music together. But even in the context of that tradition, the response to the Melisizwe Brothers has been explosive. In a short time, their videos on their Facebook page and on YouTube have been watched, liked and shared by millions of people, struck by how confidently these three young brothers – Marc, Seth and Zacary--- make a youthful and soulful stamp on such classics as Otis Redding's "These Arms of Mine," the Jackson Five's "I'll Be There" and "At Last," best known by Etta James. Music industry veterans have taken notice and reached out to them, as well as best-selling record producers and television executives. It's been an overwhelming amount of attention to a trio whose oldest member, Marc, is barely in his teens.

All three brothers were born in Canada, the youngest, Zacary, in 2007, and then the whole family moved for a while to the Caribbean, before parents Mark and Sherry James decided to go back to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and make that their home base. From early childhood, each one of the brothers showed a prodigious amount of musical curiosity and ability: Marc quickly started to master a number of instruments (he is primarily the group's guitarist, but also plays piano and clarinet), Seth, only 10 years old, mainly plays piano, and is influenced by genres including jazz and classical music, and Zacary, also proficient on numerous instruments, is the trio's primary lead vocalist.

Their name was chosen collectively by the whole family. Mark says, "We all agreed that we wanted a name that had powerful meaning, and after researching to find the right one, we all thought the word 'Melisizwe,' a South African name that means 'Leader of the Nation' represented the boys aspirations."

The brothers take their mission quite seriously. While the family was living in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the family got involved in a number of island charity organizations, performing pro bono to help raise awareness of a number of youth-related issues adversely affecting children in the Caribbean. The boys opened a free music school for the community, providing guitars, keyboards and recording equipment and spending their Saturdays instructing local kids. They also provided meals to the homeless in the capitol city of Kingstown, and performed at a charity event for the World Pediatric Project.

Since returning to Canada, their career in music has been accelerating at a dizzying velocity, with fan clubs popping up in Brazil, the Caribbean, Africa and the United States, and new offers and expressions of interest coming in constantly. It's a level of activity that could rattle any young artist, but the Melisizwe Brothers are more than prepared for every challenge and every opportunity. As their parents say, "The boys are a shining example of what can happen when you find your gift and develop it with hard work and true passion. Whenever you ask any of the brothers how they're doing, they say, 'I'm doing great'," and it's that positivity that comes across in their music. This is just the start of what's going to be an incredible story."

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