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Bheki Mseleku

Bheki Mseleku - pianist, guitar, saxophonist, vocalist, composer, recording artist The South African jazz scene is proud of its heritage and the musicians tend to integrate that essence into their style. Proper recognition of this fine multi-instrumentalist's talents seemed long in coming, but since 1991 this modest and dignified performer has been touring internationally and releasing several albums with major record labels, as well as appearing on releases from other artists. Bheki Mseleku arrived on the Johannesburg music scene in 1975 as an electric organ player for an R&B outfit, and has over time adapted and grown into one of the world's finest musicians

ARTICLE: RADIO

Mondo Jazz Turns 100! Zeno De Rossi, Vincent Courtois, Tim Berne and New Releases

Read "Mondo Jazz Turns 100! Zeno De Rossi, Vincent Courtois, Tim Berne and New Releases" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

This week Mondo Jazz turns 100 episodes old. So we open with the uplifting “celebration" by South African pianist Bheki Mseleku before delving into what we like best, unearthing precious gems from around the world. In this segment we feature another great stack of new releases, including the upcoming The Fantastic Mrs. 10 by Tim Berne's ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Claude Cozens: Reimagining Rhythm

Read "Claude Cozens: Reimagining Rhythm" reviewed by Seton Hawkins

The Cape Jazz sound of South Africa is known to international audiences primarily thanks to the music of pianist Abdullah Ibrahim. However, the music and traditions of Cape Town and the Western Cape run much deeper, reflecting an extraordinary, sometimes contradictory, and exceedingly complex set of cultures and traditions reflected in the area. Within this environment ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Jazz of the New South Africa, Part 1

Read "Jazz of the New South Africa, Part 1" reviewed by Seton Hawkins

South Africa celebrated its first democratic elections in April 1994, entering a new phase of its history. During that decade, an incredible new array of Jazz artists emerged in the country, exploring Jazz's role in the New South Africa. Playlist Bheki Mseleku “Closer to the Source" from Celebration (World Circuit) 2:03 Paul Hanmer ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

[email protected], Bird vs. Hays & more

Read "Ornette@50, Bird vs. Hays & more" reviewed by Marc Cohn

We have a lot of ground to cover this week. After our starting half-hour of 21st century music, we have a compare/contrast of Charlie Parker versus a Kevin Hays deconstruction of “Scrapple from the Apple." The day of broadcast on WHYR was Art Tatum's birthday; so we have a rare recording of an airshot ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Dan Shout: In With a Shout

Read "Dan Shout: In With a Shout" reviewed by Seton Hawkins

While it might be a cliché to say it, one can expect the unexpected when listening to the music of Dan Shout. An exceptional saxophonist and composer, the Cape Town-based artist has also built a sterling track record of creating highly distinctive and exciting albums. While he initially made a splash in 2012 with ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Dave Ledbetter: Diversity and Unity

Read "Dave Ledbetter: Diversity and Unity" reviewed by Seton Hawkins

Even the most cursory listen to South African music yields an embarrassment of riches in the realm of guitar talents. Indeed, throughout the country's musical history innovative figures have forged a near universe of unique approaches to the instrument, fusing the many musical traditions of Southern Africa with popular styles into a staggering array ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Nicky Schrire: Permission to Be Yourself

Read "Nicky Schrire: Permission to Be Yourself" reviewed by Seton Hawkins

To follow the recordings of Cape Town-based vocalist and composer Nicky Schrire is to watch an artist evolve right in front of your eyes. With her 2012 debut Freedom Flight, Schrire demonstrated a supple soprano vocal technique and a knack for intelligent arrangements of unusual repertoire choices. Following it up the next year with ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Thandi Ntuli: On Exile

Read "Thandi Ntuli: On Exile" reviewed by Seton Hawkins

South African pianist, composer, and vocalist Thandi Ntuli entered 2018 not with a bang, but with a thermonuclear blast. At the close of 2017, she had been selected as the recipient of the 2018 Standard Bank Young Artist Award in Jazz, anointing her as the latest figure in an incredible lineage of South African ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Destination South Africa (Part 2)

Read "Destination South Africa (Part 2)" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

One episode was not enough, so we needed more time to cover the South African scene. This week we look back at an earlier phase of the history of jazz in South Africa, focusing on some foundational bands and musicians, and the musicians they inspired both in South African and elsewhere. Playlist Ben Allison ...


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