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7 mins read

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. And I use tradition in a deliberate way, to think about inheritances of practices that are shared, dynamic and made and remade anew, but always defined also by what is continued as it is passed down.

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1 min read

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 Afraid”; or maybe tap into his Hedzoleh Sounds era; or perhaps go buckwild to some Union Of South Africa (alongside Caiphus Semenya and Jonas Gwangwa). Who knows, we might even cruise past his electronic stuff in the eighties; Techno Bush maybe. By the time Sunday comes, we’ll be cold chilling with him and his old buddy Larry Willis on their “Friends” album.

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5 mins read

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. He achieved so much in his life, but what he achieved was for the people of South Africa–not for himself. Nelson Mandela, in his biography A Long Walk To Freedom says “It is music and dancing that make me at peace with the world.” Many jazz artists have paid tribute to Nelson Mandela over the years, and I felt it fitting to dedicate one of my radio shows to this music as a tribute.

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7 mins read

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…..

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5 mins read

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…..

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1 min read

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…..

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2 mins read

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…..

2 mins read

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,…..