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ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Sisonke Xonti: A Leap of Faith

Read "Sisonke Xonti: A Leap of Faith" reviewed by Seton Hawkins

Known for years as an outstanding saxophonist and first-call collaborator in a variety of top South African Jazz ensembles, in recent years Sisonke Xonti has rightly earned acclaimed for his own talents as a bandleader and a composer. Notably, Xonti's 2017 debut release Iyonde not only provided a stellar showcase for his superlative horn ...

MUSICIAN Born:

Muhammad Dawjee

Muhammad was born and raised Pretoria, South Africa. He was never formally educated in music, but grew up surrounded by it - in the Malay choral Gadaat recitals his grandfather used to host on Sundays and tinkering at the piano his grandmother bought for his elder sisters (who were already taking lessons when he was born). Muhammad was selected as a member of the Standard Bank National Schools’ Big Band for the years 2006, 2007 and 2008 at the Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Festival, Grahamstown. The 2008 band, conducted by Shannon Mowday also performed at the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz in Johannesburg. In 2009 he was selected alongside tertiary music students (Sisonke Xonti and others) and local and international professional muscians such as Shannon Mowday, Mike Rossi, Frank Brodahl (Norway) & Arne Hiorth (Norway) to perform as a part of the North Sea Big Band, curated and conducted by Arne Hiorth. In 2010 he was selected as a member of the New South African Orchestra in 2010 alongside emerging young talents Nhlanhla Daniel Mahlangu, Oscar Rachabane and Billy Monama to perform with a collective of South African Legends such as Barney Rachabane, Khaya Mahlangu, Feya Faku directed and conducted by Dr

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: INTERVIEW

Sam Tshabalala: Returning Home

Read "Sam Tshabalala: Returning Home" reviewed by Seton Hawkins

The late 1970s saw a surge of extraordinary musical creativity in South Africa. Driven in part by a changing political climate reflecting the youth-led Soweto uprising of 1976, a younger generation of South African artists harnessed the arts to give voice to a new chapter in the anti-apartheid struggle. Indeed, rising ensembles like Movement ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Carlo Mombelli: Angels and Demons

Read "Carlo Mombelli: Angels and Demons" reviewed by Seton Hawkins

One of music's criminally underrated geniuses, South African electric bassist and composer Carlo Mombelli has carved out a most extraordinary performing and writing career in music. Throughout his four decades as a performer, Mombelli has forged one of the most distinctive electric bass approaches in Jazz, established himself as South Africa's most exceptional composer, and has ...

ARTICLE: MULTIPLE REVIEWS

South African Saliency: Reza Khota, Carlo Mombelli, Andrew Lilley, and Mandisi Dyantyis

Read "South African Saliency: Reza Khota, Carlo Mombelli, Andrew Lilley, and Mandisi Dyantyis" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

As sure as the sun will shine on Chapman's Peak and the winds will sweep over Table Mountain, South Africa will continue to flourish and birth new music worthy of worldwide attention. The West may typically pay little to no mind to South African jazz and the artists who shape it, but that has yet to ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Ronan Skillen: Telepathic Euphoria

Read "Ronan Skillen: Telepathic Euphoria" reviewed by Seton Hawkins

When one thinks of South African jazz, the didgeridoo and the tabla don't immediately jump to mind. Nevertheless, multi-instrumentalist, composer, and engineer Ronan Skillen has made them vital additions to a range of South African ensembles. While acclaimed for his work in the genre-smashing South African ensemble Babu, Skillen has engaged in ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Jazz of the New South Africa, Part Two

Read "Jazz of the New South Africa, Part Two" 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 Hilton Schilder “Email to the Ancestors" from No Turning Back (Mountain Records) 1:11 ...

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

Those Who Remained Behind, Part 2

Read "Those Who Remained Behind, Part 2" reviewed by Seton Hawkins

Many Jazz artists leave South Africa for exile in the 1960s and 1970s, but many remain behind, facing horrifying working conditions and oppression. In these two episodes, we'll explore their music and their efforts to resist apartheid within South Africa. Playlist Tete Mbambisa “Stay Cool" from Black Heroes (As-Shams Records) 1:58 Pat Matshikiza ...


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