AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

Hugh Masekela

image

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Jazz in Cape Town

In Cape Town jazz here is not just jazz. It’s a whole lot more. For one, it is a dance style that continues to be the predominant feature of successive generations of Cape Flats families. Almost similar to what is called salsa in the Latino communities, jazzing on the Cape Flats is now somewhat of a tradition....

Friday, April 4th, 2014

No, we have not forgotten that it was Bra Hugh Masekela’s 75th birthday today

It's Bra Hugh's birthday today. Well into his seventies, Hughie as his friend Dizzy Gillepsie used to call him, demonstrates no interest in laying off from touring. To celebrate, we'll bump a bit of "I Am Not...

Saturday, December 14th, 2013

Playlist: South African Jazz for Nelson Mandela

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the man that so many South Africans have come to love, even those who grew up being taught that he was a communist and a terrorist when communism was portrayed as a great evil....

Sunday, December 8th, 2013

Songs for Mandela: Weekend Music Break 64

This post combines Steffan’s wonderful playlist of South African tunes of and for Nelson Mandela and the international playlist we published when we first heard news of the great man’s death. When we sent around the AIAC...

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Songs for Mandela [South African Edition]

This is the South African edition of our selection of Songs for Nelson Mandela. Last night we posted the international edition and many of our readers asked if we’d forgotten about the many South African musicians who’d written...

Monday, February 18th, 2013

When Kim Kardashian came to Lagos and “419ed the 419ers”

I was just over a thousand miles away from the action in Freetown, watching my Twitter timeline cascade with commentary as the evening unfolded. Tweets purred with pleasure at the acrobatics segment, and at the godly qualities...

Friday, October 19th, 2012

Bonus Jazz Break: 1968 clip of pianist Abdullah Ibrahim

Uploaded in mid-August on YouTube, this 1968 clip may be the earliest known clip of Abdullah Ibrahim. In the video, a wiry (all arms and legs) Ibrahim is performing with his band at the time — consisting of...

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

Hugh Masekela’s ‘Stimela’ gets a makeover

R&B singer-songwriter Wynter Gordon is taking a considerable step outside her comfortable mid-commercial range with her new single ‘Stimela’ and its self-directed video, but it’s hard to argue that it isn’t reeking of the worst type of structural World...

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

10 African films to watch out for, N°2

‘Grand comme le Baobab’ (“Tall as the baobab tree”) is a film told through the voice of Coumba (in Pular language), who tries to avoid her 11-year-old sister from being sold into marriage to settle a family debt in rural...

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

Found Objects N°21

German singer-songwriter Joy Denalane (born to a South African father who’s a cousin of Hugh Masekela) recorded her song ‘Im Ghetto von Soweto’ twice. I prefer the original, less explanatory, German version (a tentative translation of which...

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

Paul Simon’s Graceland Reconsidered

2011 was the 25th anniversary of Paul Simon’s “Graceland.” I don’t have to remind you of the album’s significance. It is hard to imagine now the impact of that album, but it did a lot of things:...

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

Hugh Masekela’s football skills

This is a music break with a football reference in there. In 1984 Hugh Masekela’s single “Don’t Go Lose It Baby” (off the album “Techno Bush”) reached number two for two weeks on the dance charts. The...

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

For Us By Us?

The Africa we dream of/Only 8 goals away. This from the “8 Goals for Africa” song, which is part of an awareness and advocacy campaign developed by the United Nations System in South Africa on the eight...

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Hugh Masekela the critic

In an interview with Britain’s Channel 4 News Hugh Masekela, who will perform at the opening ceremony of the 2010 World, speaks the obvious about the long-term meaning of the World Cup.  “The World Cup...

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

The Coal Train

Hugh Masekela, the giant trumpet player (he had a Billboard no.1 hit in 1968. People forget that), has a new show, “Songs of Migration,” that just played  in Johannesburg (a decent review of the show over at...

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

Wax Poetics “Africa Issue” and Other Links

* I just got the Wax Poetics Africa Issue in the mail.  Though the issue may give the impression that good music stopped being produced in Africa since the 1970s–in part it reads like a tribute issue...

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

“WE FOUGHT FOR FREEDOM, BUT WE WON DEMOCRACY”

You can always count on Hugh Masekela to speak frankly. Masekela turned 70 this year. And he still has a lot to say. In London for a concert with the London Symphony Orchestra to mark his birthday,...