Interview: Hugh Masekela on Songs of Migration and Heritage Restoration

October 25, 2012 § 2 Comments

Hugh Masekela and Sibongile Khumalo (Photos courtesy Kennedy Center)

Listening to Hugh Masekela speak on art, music and politics would make you think he is the eternal pessimist. But that would be only when it comes to politics. The 73 year-old trumpeter, composer and singer recently performed Songs of Migration at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC together with Sibongile Khumalo and a cast of singers, dancers and musicians. He took a moment to sit down with Kwame Fitzjohn from The African World on MHz to rap about his new show, politics, mines in South Africa, and what he optimistically calls “Heritage Restoration.” Songs of Migration, produced by Sibojama Theatre and directed by James Ngcobo, is Masekela’s tribute to late 19th century migrants from all over Africa heading to work in Johannesburg’s mines. Backed by a five-piece band, it is an effervescent display of song, dance « Read the rest of this entry »

Freshlyground Rock the Black Cat, Sahel at Bossa + More Great Concerts!

July 4, 2011 § 2 Comments

Sahel

To all Americans: Happy Independence Day! The weekend has been great already. I checked out two great concerts in the past few days. And they were all about the beat. First was Sahel, a Washington, DC-based African Diaspora group, playing at Bossa in Adams Morgan for Lunchbox Theory’s Afrobeat for ya Soul. Fronted by Jean Francis Varre, they ran through an infectious mix of music from virtually all over the globe: Samba, Salsa, Reggae, Mbalax, and Zouk. Stewart Bernard II killed that bass guitar; Tosin Aribisala, who has played with Femi Kuti, was amazing on the drums, and Didier Prossaird was all over the keyboards. From their website:

Sahel is inspired by tradition and dedicated to the progress of music that moves the world.”

Anyone present at Bossa that Thursday night can testify to that! You can catch Sahel again at the Washington, DC Africa Day Festival July 16 at the Takoma Community Center.

Freshlyground at the Black Cat

It’s a shame that South African best pop export Freshlyground is not very well-known in the US, but on this their first ever American tour that may well change. By the time the show promoter introduced them, the crowd at the Black Cat on

Freshlyground's Zolani Mahola

U Street was already roaring their approval; lead singer Zolani Mahola and her crew wasted no time, launching into their popular song “Fire Is Low”, to the clapping accompaniment of the audience. Freshlyground’s die-hard fans were up front, singing along, but by the time the band got to their huge hit “Doo Be Doo,” they had everybody in the crowd waving their hands and chanting. Freshlyground continue their North American tour in Philadelphia, before doing other dates in Canada and California. Afrofusion hopes to have more for you from  Freshlyground and Sahel later on, stay tuned! Other upcoming concerts of note: Kassav, pioneers of the zouk sound, will be in DC July 29 for a one-night only show (at the Crossroads), promoted by Kololo Entertainment, the same promoter responsible for Freshlyground’s DC show. Also at Crossroads, Beres Hammond and Wayne Wonder as part of their Cool Out Sundays Concert Series, August 7. See you there! More photos from the Freshlyground and Sahel shows below and on our gallery page. Bless…

Winnie The Opera: The Promo

January 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

Winnie Mandela in 2010, and right, with former husband Nelson Mandela. Photo: AFP/Getty, AP

Her Xhosa name is “Nomzamo,” meaning “Trial (having a hard time in life.)” And what a life she has had! She became the face of a defiant resistance against the racist apartheid South African government when her husband Nelson Mandela was put in prison, and her supporters still call her the “Mother of the Nation.” In 2007 she was denied a visa to enter Canada to attend an opera based on her life, entitled The Passion of Winnie. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela won’t need one this year when  Winnie The Opera opens during Freedom Week in Pretoria, South Africa, on April 28, 2011. Show producer and librettist Warren Wilensky, who was also involved in 2007’s Passion, « Read the rest of this entry »

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing entries tagged with South Africa at Afrofusion Lounge.

%d bloggers like this: