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ARTICLE: INTERVIEWS

Mandla Mlangeni: Born to Be

Read "Mandla Mlangeni: Born to Be" reviewed by Seton Hawkins

Mandla Mlangeni has been engaged. The South African trumpeter, composer, and bandleader oversees three groups, notably the Amandla Freedom Ensemble and the Tune Recreation Committee. Additionally, his works are marked by an intense effort to explore and connect with social discourse in the country today. Indeed, from the Tune Recreation Committee's naming nod to South Africa's ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEWS

Bokani Dyer: African Piano

Read "Bokani Dyer: African Piano" reviewed by Seton Hawkins

Throughout this decade, pianist, composer, and bandleader Bokani Dyer has stood as one of the most formidable and creative keyboard talents in South Africa today. Raised in a musical family--his father is the legendary saxophonist Steve Dyer--Bokani Dyer quickly demonstrated an extraordinary musical vision and identity of his own. Indeed, albums of his, notably Emancipate the ...

Bokani Dyer Trio: Neo Native

Read "Neo Native" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

In pianist Bokani Dyer's Neo Native we find a pact between the ideals of advancement and atavism. This rising star on the South African scene and international stage merges modernistic language with traditional streams with this malleable trio, creating a unique signature that's both indebted to his homeland's history and free of clich├ęs.

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ARTICLE: INTERVIEWS

Lwanda Gogwana: Tradition and Innovation

Read "Lwanda Gogwana: Tradition and Innovation" reviewed by Seton Hawkins

When South African trumpet virtuoso Lwanda Gogwana released his second album Uhadi Synth (Lwanda Gogwana Music Group, 2016) last year, he reinforced his position not only as one of South Africa's truly exceptional horn talents, but also as one of its most probing and insightful artists and composers.

The title of the album itself--the ...

ARTICLE: BEST OF / YEAR END

Dan Bilawsky's Best Releases of 2016

Read "Dan Bilawsky's Best Releases of 2016" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Another year is almost in the books. And while there were many things to fret about in 2016, a lack of good music wasn't one of them. A quick look back at the year reminds us that jazz legends remain strong, rising stars continue to rapidly ascend, newcomers are making their presence felt, and the dearly ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bokani Dyer: World Music

Read "World Music" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

It's not exactly a secret that the concept of “World Music" isn't all that its name implies. That tag, still in wide use today, became somewhat meaningless a couple decades back, serving primarily as an umbrella category to market any and every form of non-Western music to Western ears. But South African pianist Bokani Dyer sees ...