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MUSICIAN Born:

Hugh Masekela

Hugh Masekela was a world-renowned flugelhornist, trumpeter, bandleader, composer, singer and defiant political voice who remained deeply connected at home, while his international career sparkled. He was born in the town of Witbank, South Africa in 1939. At the age of 14, the deeply respected advocator of equal rights in South Africa, Father Trevor Huddleston, provided Masekela with a trumpet and, soon after, the Huddleston Jazz Band was formed. Masekela began to hone his, now signature, Afro-Jazz sound in the late 1950s during a period of intense creative collaboration, most notably performing in the 1959 musical King Kong, written by Todd Matshikiza, and, soon thereafter, as a member of the now legendary South African group, the Jazz Epistles (featuring the classic line up of Kippie Moeketsi, Abdullah Ibrahim and Jonas Gwangwa). In 1960, at the age of 21 he left South Africa to begin what would be 30 years in exile from the land of his birth

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Various Artists: Indaba Is

Read "Indaba Is" reviewed by Chris May

There are probably several reasons why American jazz made the deep and lasting impact it did on South Africa in the 1950s. One may be that the colonial regime which was imposed on the country during Europe's pan-African nineteenth-century landgrab was among the most vicious of them all, and persisted the longest through the apartheid system ...

Rejoice

Label: World Circuit
Released: 2020
Track listing: Robbers, Thugs and Muggers; Agbada Bougou; Coconut Jam; Never (Lagos Never Gonna Be the Same; Slow Bones; Jabulani (Rejoice, Here Comes Tony); Obama Shuffle Strut Blues; We've Landed.

Meet The JazzTwins, Arnold and Donald Stanley

Read "Meet The JazzTwins, Arnold and Donald Stanley" reviewed by Tessa Souter and Andrea Wolper

For our first two-for-one Super Fans column, we present the JazzTwins, Arnold Stanley and Donald Stanley, who got started pretty young (just wait till you see who played at their high school concerts). All jazz Super Fans are VIPs, but these two take things to another level. From invitations to musicians' family dinners to being the ...

ARTICLE: YEAR IN REVIEW

Chris May’s Best Releases Of 2020

Read "Chris May’s Best Releases Of 2020" reviewed by Chris May

Not the best year for live gigs in London, but Dele Sosimi's Afrobeat Orchestra just made it under the wire, lighting up the Jazz Cafe in late January. Rather like Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, Sosimi's band has form as an incubator of young talent. A recent star in the making was trumpeter Ife Ogunjobi, who has ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Tony Allen & Hugh Masekela: Rejoice

Read "Rejoice" reviewed by Chris May

"Unfinished" is the kindest word to describe this album, recorded in 2010 and left on the shelf until its release was prompted after Hugh Masekela passed in 2018. It should have stayed on the shelf. The album consists of eight tracks of noodling by Masekela, accompanied by autopilot timekeeping from Tony Allen, who ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Benjamin Boone: Joy

Read "Joy" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Benjamin Boone's set with this band born and grown in Ghana is a genuine cross-cultural jazz Joy. The seeds of Joy were planted when composer-saxophonist Boone spent a year as a US Fulbright Scholar in Ghana in sabbatical from his professorship at California State University (Fresno), to study the country's music and musical traditions. ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Tony Allen, Hugh Masekela, Luciana Souza, Dave Douglas & Other New Releases

Read "Tony Allen, Hugh Masekela, Luciana Souza, Dave Douglas & Other New Releases" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

We may be in lock-down mode but oustading jazz releases keep coming out as if nothing were of the COVID and the social distancing, bringing us much needed relief. One more reason to pay tribute to today's artists and to encourage everyone to support the music scene by purchasing music directly from the musicians and labels ...

Innervisions, Improvisations and Other Jazz Fevers

Read "Innervisions, Improvisations and Other Jazz Fevers" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Lili Añel Better Days Winding Way Records 2019 Singer-songwriter Lili Añel and Better Days sound cut straight out of the northeast US. It's more than the geographic location of Añel's birth (Spanish Harlem, “El Barrio," in New York) or raised (South Bronx), and it's more than ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Jazz From South Africa - Hugh Masakela, Abdullah Ibrahim, Johnny Dyani (1960 - 1978)

Read "Jazz From South Africa - Hugh Masakela, Abdullah Ibrahim, Johnny Dyani (1960 - 1978)" reviewed by Russell Perry

The brutal repression of the subversive mixed-race jazz subculture in South Africa led to the emigration of several important musicians whose work in the United States and Europe helped focus the world's attention on the apartheid regime in the 1960s and 1970's. Prominent among the emigres are pianist Abdullah Ibrahim, who originally recorded as Dollar Brand, ...


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