The Blue Notes: South Africa’s first generation of free jazz

Gwen Ansell, University of Pretoria “We were all kind of rebels,” drummer Louis Tebogo Moholo-Moholo recalls, “so, like birds of a feather, [we] flocked together.” South African trumpeter, Marcus Wyatt. Muntu Vilakazi/Sunday Times   He’s talking about the Blue Notes, a multiracial modern jazz outfit formed in Cape Town in the early 1960s. White composer …

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The marginalised African Songbird who finally became visible again

Robin Kelley, University of California, Los Angeles In 1948, the National Party came to power in South Africa and immediately implemented legislation intended to weaken struggles for social democracy, labour rights and racial equality. These apartheid laws further codified racial segregation and severely limited rights of black people in the country. There was no room …

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There’s a new wave of jazz sweeping South Africa

Carlo Mombelli, University of the Witwatersrand One of South Africa’s foremost jazz musicians, Carlo Mombelli, has just released his 12th studio album, “I Press My Spine to the Ground”. He is a bassist and composer who also teaches at the music school of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. His album features Kesivan Naidoo …

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