Remembering Bra Hugh Masekela

26 January 2018 — Jazz on the Tube

Hugh Masekela (April 4, 1939 – January 23, 2018)

Hugh Masekela “Grazing In The Grass” live at the Kuumbwa, March 24th, 2014

I had the pleasure, and the honour of hanging out with Bra Hugh on a number of occasions when I lived Johannesburg as well as here in London when he visited here. A modest and honest human being, who was the same offstage as we was on, and who dedicated his life, not only to the wonderful music of South Africa but to the struggle to free its people from the evil of Apartheid.

As they say  in SA, Hamba Kahle Bra Hugh, you are forever in our memory Continue reading

An Interview with Louis Moholo-Moholo

13 April 2017 — Cafe Oto

My friend, the fabulous, and apparently immortal Bra Louis Moholo-Moholo is performing at Cafe Oto tomorrow, Friday 14 April. It’s been nine months since he was here, so all you London bods who are into SA music should try and make it. He will be joined by longtime music partners The Four Blokes (now upgraded to The Five Blokes), Jason Yarde and Shabaka Hutchings (saxophones), John Edwards (bass), and Alexander Hawkins (piano) and of course, Bra Louis on drums.

Here’s an interview with Bra Louis recorded, recorded I think, sometime ago. Enjoy Continue reading

Sun Ra’s Solar Archestra Live in London!

2 June 2014 — Cafe OTO

I don’t often do this, advertise a gig but Sun Ra’s Solar Archestra has to have an exception made for it. I went to one gig at Cafe Oto a couple of years back and although Sun Ra relocated to the celestial sphere some while ago, the Archestra, under the direction of Marshall Allen, who as been with the Archestra since the very beginning, is, as they say, kickin’ arse! So, if you live in or around London this month, why not check it out.

Continue reading

Video: Alive Inside: How the Magic of Music Proves Therapeutic for Patients With Alzheimer’s and Dementia

22 January 2014 — Democracy Now!

Could a pair of headphones change the lives of millions of Americans suffering from Alzheimers and dementia? “Alive Inside: A Story of Music & Memory,” a new documentary at the Sundance Film Festival, follows a social worker named Dan Cohen who has launched a campaign to bring iPods and music therapy to nursing homes. One of the central characters he works with is a 90-something Alzheimer’s patient named Henry Dryer, who was featured in a video posted online that went viral in 2012, with nearly 10 million views. Continue reading

Juan Formell: Talking about salsa By Rafael Lam

15 November 2013 — Granma

El músico argentino, Fito Páez (centro) junto a músicos de la orquesta cubana, Los Van Van, durante la inauguración del XXXIV Festival Internacional del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano, en el teatro Karl Marx, en La Habana, Cuba, el 4 de diciembre de 2012. AIN FOTO/Abel ERNESTO/sdl

El músico argentino, Fito Páez (centro) junto a músicos de la orquesta cubana, Los Van Van, durante la inauguración del XXXIV Festival Internacional del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano, en el teatro Karl Marx, en La Habana, Cuba, el 4 de diciembre de 2012. AIN FOTO/Abel ERNESTO/sdl

JUAN Formell has a new award this year, the Grammy Special Prize for Excellence. With his group Los Van Van, he has already received the Artist of the World Prize at the WOMEX Expo (October 23-27, 2013 in Cardiff, Wales). This is the first time that a Cuban has received this prize.

“All prizes are always merits to Cuban music, to the sustained work of our musicians with the rich music that identifies us,” Formell affirmed.

During the 14th Grammy Latino Awards, scheduled for the Mandalay Bay Event Center in Las Vegas (November 20), a special recognition will go to Formell, the Special Prize for Excellence 2013, from the Latin American Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (LARAS). Continue reading

Hip-Hop Against the World! BY Jared Ball

16 November 2011 — Black Agenda Radio Commentaries

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by editor and columnist Jared Ball

Propaganda agencies operate on the principle that everything can be turned to advantage, even the cultural properties of the oppressed.‘ Like jazzman Louis Armstrong’s ‘good will’ tours for the U.S. State Department in the Fifties, rappers today are dispatched on foreign missions to ‘cleanse an image that simply defies cleanliness.’ Hip Hop, the culture that was said to have the potential to unite the global oppressed, instead becomes a weapon of oppressor. ‘The goal is to turn hip-hop against the very communities who create it and ultimately to turn it against the world.’ Continue reading

Jazz genius Zim Ngqawana dies at 52 By Matthew Burbidge

10 May 2011 — Mail & Guardian Online

South African musician Zim Ngqawana has died in the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital after suffering a stroke on Monday. He was 52.

Manager Ayanda Nhlapo said Ngqawana, who played the flute and saxophone, had been rehearsing at his home in Troyeville for a show at Wits on the weekend when he had the stroke.

Read the rest…