a tribute to the Sharpeville massacre March 21, 1960

on my recent trip to South Africa last January 2020 I found this LP ‘How Long’, a recording of an obscure musical, written in 1973 by Gibson Kente (born July 23, 1932, Duncan Village, near East London, South Africa – died November 7, 2004, Soweto, South Africa).

Gibson Kente was a South African playwright, screenplay writer and musician. He also taught many high profile South African performers how to act, sing and dance, including Brenda Fassie and Mbongeni Ngema.

Gibson Kente

One of his earlier works ‘Sikalo’ (1966) was already in my collection but ‘How Long’ is another eye-opener. Musically the compositions are quite diverse, from African jazz to hymns, beautifully performed by a group of singers and musicians unknown to me; Zakithi Diamini, Zakes Kuse, Mary Twala, Ndaba Twala and others.

The condition of the LP was poor, scratched vinyl, torn worn cover with the name Bra Cecil on the labels, it clearly was once a well loved record in a township somewhere….

I thought that the theme of this musical and the music fits the date and spirit of this post perfectly. The musical ‘How Long’ is a document that reminds me of the horror of the Sharpeville massacre on March 21, 1960. Exactly 60 years ago. Today 21st March 2020 we commemorate Sharpeville and Human Rights Day.

Both sides of this LP can be heard in their integrality with all the crackle and hiss but the music still stands proud.

Read the story below on Sharpeville….

Tracklist

Overture (African Jazz)2:30
How Long (African Ballad)2:30
Thixo Mkhululi (African Hymn)0:52
Themba Limbi (African Hymn)2:55
Africa Sings (African Folk)2:30
The Lord Is My Shepherd (African Hymn)2:30
Uthando Noxolo (African Hymn)2:22
Batata (African Jazz)2:45
Dustbin (African Jazz)2:45
Kode-Kubenini (African Jazz)2:15
My Belief (African Ballad)3:00
Black Child (African Ballad)2:30
Hamba Afrika (African Folk)1:50
Have Faith In God (African Hymn)1:40
Uyandi Phatha Phatha (African Vocal Jive)2:20

Sharpeville massacre

SOUTH AFRICAN HISTORY [1960]WRITTEN BY: 

LAST UPDATED: Mar 14, 2020 See Article History

Sharpeville massacre, (March 21, 1960), incident in the black township of Sharpeville, near VereenigingSouth Africa, in which police fired on a crowd of black people, killing or wounding some 250 of them. It was one of the first and most violent demonstrations against apartheid in South Africa.

apartheid: aftermath of the deadly Sharpeville demonstration
apartheid: aftermath of the deadly Sharpeville demonstrationThe wounded being tended to after police opened fire on an antiapartheid demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa, 1960.Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The Pan-Africanist Congress (PAC), a splinter group of the African National Congress (ANC) created in 1959, organized a countrywide demonstration for March 21, 1960, for the abolition of South Africa’s pass laws. Participants were instructed to surrender their reference books (passes) and invite arrest. Some 20,000 blacks gathered near a police station at Sharpeville, located about 30 miles (50 km) south of Johannesburg. After some demonstrators, according to police, began stoning police officers and their armoured cars, the officers opened fire on them with submachine guns. About 69 blacks were killed and more than 180 wounded, some 50 women and children being among the victims. A state of emergency was declared in South Africa, more than 11,000 people were detained, and the PAC and ANC were outlawed. Reports of the incident helped focus international criticism on South Africa’s apartheid policy. Following the dismantling of apartheid, South African President Nelson Mandela chose Sharpeville as the site at which, on December 10, 1996, he signed into law the country’s new constitution.

source; The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica

Soul Safari Radio -Soul Beat -podcast Nr 1 -11th August 2018

soul safari radio podcast 1 gecomp

hi World…here is a new initiative from Soul Safari. A podcast to highlight and celebrate some great unknown South African music!

For this very first show I selected 12 really cool and rare 45 singles by the best of South African Soul Jazz groups, all records from my own collection.  Different styles ranging from vocal to instrumental tunes, recorded and released between 1969 to 1982. Seldom heard on any radio-show…but exclusively now for your ears here on Soul Safari as a podcast.  35 minutes of great South African soul jazz.

I do hope you will enjoy this new initiative!

Here is the playlist and pics from all records played….

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Soul Safari Radio –Soul Beat -podcast Nr 1

-11th August 2018

The Pedlars -At The Club

The Family -Hear Say

The Pedlars -Right On

The Mechanics -Why Not?

The Bee Dees -Big Brother

The Movers -I Need Somebody

The Go-Aheads -Go Ahead Pt 1

The Blue Revues -Spook Mahala

The Flaming Souls -Oh Darling!

Ray Jazz Combo -The Golden Step

Soul Giants -Soul Prayer

The Jazz Clan -Oh Happy Day

 

see also

Funk Soul Brothers – part 2-The Flaming Souls ‘Soul Time’ 1969 South Africa

Hugh Masekela (1939-2018) South Africa’s godfather of jazz, has died

Hugh Masekela, South African trumpeter, has died after battle with prostate cancer -photo Bra Hugh (AP Photo-Jeff Christensen)
photo Bra Hugh (AP Photo-Jeff Christensen)

Legendary South African trumpeter and anti-apartheid movement figure, Hugh Masekela has died at aged 78, after a battle with prostate cancer, according to his family and the government.

Born on April 4, 1939, Masekela first picked up a trumpet after seeing the film “Young Man With a Horn” and encouraged by activist Father Trevor Huddleston. Often described as the “father of South African jazz”, Masekela was an icon of South Africa’s Sophiatown, the political and cultural enclave of Johannesburg that was razed by apartheid police but remains a symbol of black freedom.

read more 

 ‘Masekela introducing Hedzoleh Soundz’ is probably one of the most impressive excursions of a jazz trumpeter into the deep heartlands of Africa; Hugh Masekela meets Nigerian band Hedzoleh Soundz.

After his big hit success with ‘Grazing in the grass’,  which went to #1 in both the pop and R&B charts in 1968, Masekela joined his former wife Miriam Makeba in Guinea, Africa for a tour. It was there that he met the Ghanian band Hedzoleh Soundz, an extremely talented band known for blending the ancient rhythmic traditions of their native Ghana with American jazz and Latin music.

At the time Fela Kuti was taking Africa and the world by storm with his brand of Nigerian Jazz Funk.  The interlocking rhythms over which his saxophone could endlessly groove were reminiscent of the style of funk patterns that James Brown pioneered in the U.S.

Hedzoleh Soundz combines the rhythmic traditions of their native Ghana while Masekela adds the improvisational drive of jazz. The album ‘Introducing Hedzoleh Soundz’ was recorded in Lagos, Nigeria in 1973 and features such tracks as ‘Languta’, an irresistible chunk of infectious Afro beat with an inspired Masekela singing and blowing on top.

‘Masekela introducing Hedzoleh Soundz’ -Languta

Masekela introducing Hedzoleh Soundz

players:

  • Hugh Masekela – Trumpet & Vocals
  • Stanley Kwesi Todd – Electric Bass & Vocals
  • James Kwaku Morton – Congas & Vocals
  • Nat “Leepuma” Hammond – Congas, Flute & Vocals
  • Richard Neesai “Jagger” Botchway – Guitar
  • Isaac Asante – Talking Drum, Percussion & Vocals
  • Samuel Nortey – Percussion & Vocals
  • Acheampong Welbeck – Drums

tracks;

  1. Languta
  2. Kaa Ye Oya
  3. Adade
  4. Yei Baa Gbe Wolo
  5. Patience
  6. When
  7. Nye Tamo Ame
  8. Rekpete

Blue Thumb Chisa BTS 62 USA

Buy the original album here

Township Jive & Kwela Jazz -new Volume 4 (1940-1965)

This is an exclusive offer for readers of Soul Safari!

180 grams vinyl LP edition including Registered Airmail Worlwide € 20

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Downloads via iTunes are available now.

 KwelaJazzVol4iTunes

the fourth issue in the series ‘Township Jive & Kwela Jazz’ selected by Soul Safari.

Another outstanding collection of rare gems from the International Library of African Music (ILAM) Archives, South Africa.

Soul Safari presents Township Jive & Kwela Jazz Volume 4 (1940-1965)

Catalog nr. UP 2016.007 LP

Side A
1-Stamkoko -Izintombi Zesi manje manje (1965) 02:16
2-Udali– Maphela  (1960) 02:38
3-Sabela –Maphela  (1960) 02:30
4-Usana Lwam’– Mississippi Brothers & Beauty Diloane (1940) 02:36
5-Ukhiye–Susan  Gabashane & Her Honeybees  (1960) 02:46
6.Ukuhlupheka – Susan Gabashane & Her Honeybees (1960) 02:35
7.Umsakazo E Grahamstown– Alabhama Kids  (1960) 02:27
8.Lizzy–Mississippi Brothers (1940) 02:17
9.Asinamali– Alabhama Kids (1960) 02:21

Side B
1.Baboon Shepherd–Black Duke & Peter Makana (1950) 02:35
2.Battle Of The Flutes–Black Duke & Peter Makana (1950) 02:37
3.Shukuma Duke-Black Duke (1950) 02:27
4.Duke Blues-Black Duke (1950) 03:00
5.Black John–Peter Makana (1950) 02:20
6.Blood Mixture-Peter Makana – (1950) 02:15
7.Egoli Zinyozi –Alfred Dlezi & Dlamini (1950) 02:31

Discovery of the Week -Thoughts Visions and Dreams -Ray Phiri

TVD front watermarked

On my recent safari my attention was drawn immediately to this album, the artwork and the name Ray Phiri performed magic.  Chikapa “Ray” Phiri of course is well known for his work on Paul Simon’s “Graceland” album and popular South Africa bands like The Cannibals and Stimela, a hugely successful mbaquanga/fusion outfit which released several platinum-selling albums. But I have never seen this album before….so that’s why it is Discovery of the Week. File under African Jazz, Boogie, Funk, Soul….

 Thoughts Visions and Dreams

A Man-A Dog-And A Cow

Featuring Ray Phiri

TVD back watermarked

Thoughts Visions And Dreams are:

Ray Phiri: guitar; Ntokozo Zingu: guitar; immy Mngwandi: bass guitar; Donald Laka: keyboards; Isaac Mtshali: drums;Emelio Zulfar Hassan: percussion; Mcoy Mrubata:tenor sax; Bakhiti Khumalo

Guest artists:

Teaspoon Ndelu: alto sax;Mandla Masuku:alto sax;Sello Mpatsoane: trumpet

Singers:

Mandisa Dlanga, Marilyn Nokwe, Phumzile Ntuli, Nomuntu Kapa, Beaulah Hashe, Lloyd Lelosa, Wings Segale and Ray Phiri

 TVD label watermarked

A side

“Thoughts Visions And Dreams”

“Step Out Of My Life”

“Nothing Makes Sense”

B side

“Play That Sax”

“Cupid Shoot That Arrow”

“Dreams Of A Missionary”

Recorded in 1985 at RPM Studios Johannesburg.

Released in 1989 Gallo Records South Africa

a tribute to Nomzamo Mkhuzo, diva of New Brighton jazz.

nomzamo greeting her fansIt seemed someone had performed a rain dance as the rains came pouring down merciless last sunday. No wonder we were soaking wet when we arrived at the Douglas Ngange Mboba Memorial Hall in New Brighton, a township near Port Elizabeth, thanks to an invite from Diane Thram, who has been researching jazz in New Brighton since 2009.

We had come for an event in honour of singer Nomzamo Mkhuzo (b. 1938), one of South Africa’s grand divas of jazz. And we were among the first to arrive. In two’s and three’s several musicians arrived with their instruments, the soundchecking had begun. Local musicians and singers were expected to come and play for free that afternoon, as a fundraiser for Nomzamo Mkhuzo.

The benefit concert was organized by Vulyewa Luzipho, a vocalist who is a longstanding member of The Jazz Divas aka Metro Jazz Queens, residing in Port Elizabeth. This vocal group started performing in 2004 and is the moniker for the united talents of Shirley Lebakeng, Vulyewa Luzipho, Welakazi (Webro) Mosia and Nomzamo Mkhuzo who was a member until she became too frail. All of these vocalists were present and performed acappella that day – showing of their immense talent as jazz singers.

After a long wait, the concert was opened by keyboard player Jury Ntshinga, who sang a wonderful version of the jazz standard ‘Moody’s Mood’. Vocalist Thandeka Marwanqa joined him to make the rendition even richer.

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Then veteran saxophone player Patrick Pasha came on stage and introduced Nomzamo.He remembered some great moments of his dear friend, how they grew up in houses where church hymns were sung every Sunday. Local songs in Xhosa were popular with the whole family, and records by Ella Fitzgerald were played. ‘She was my biggest influence, I adored her music.’ says Nomzamo Mkhuzo who grew up listening to Ella’s records. Despite the fact that her father thought she was too young, she started her career as a vocalist with the Barnacle Bills Big Band when only 16 years old. Her talent was already apparent, she was born to sing. Nomzamo went on to tour extensively with the Junior Jazzmen throughout the late 50’s. Later she teamed up with her husband, guitarist Jamani Skweyana. They recorded for SABC as the ‘J-J Quartet’. Nomzamo is known for her powerful voice and ability to capture a crowd with the energy she brings to her singing. She was very popular through the 70s and 80s especially for her jazz compositions sung in Xhosa addressing social issues in tunes that embody New Brighton jazz. Nomzamo was a founding member of the Metro Jazz Queens in 2004 and continues to perform occasionally, most recently at her 75th birthday (25 May 2013) hosted by her musician collegues and friends at the Red Location Museum.

Nomzamo is now 78 and although she is frail and confined to a wheelchair, she has lost none of her strenght of voice nor the willpower to perform.

Diane Thram, director of the International Library of African Music (ILAM)  researched the history of jazz vocalists, big bands and what followed on the jazz scene in New Brighton from the 1940s-90s. This project was initiated as part of the ILAM-Red Location oral history project that culminated with curation of the ‘Generations of Jazz’ permanent exhibition at the Red Location Museum in 2013. Nomzamo Mkhuzo was one of the first musicians interviewed. Diane Thram discovered that Nomzamo Mkhuzo was still alive and lived in a rundown small cement house, in poor conditions.  That was back in 2009.  Nomzamo’s singing is documented on 2 concert DVDS created by ILAM from their documentation of two concerts produced as part of the oral history project, the first in March 2010 entitled ‘Jazz Heritage Concert’ and the second for the opening of the ‘Generations of Jazz’ exhibition in June 2013. Nomzamo sings solo and with the Jazz Divas on both DVDs. Locals know Nomzamo – those of her generation have never forgotten her and her powerful voice.  For younger musicians involved in the concerts, it was a discovery of one of the great voices of jazz for which Port Elizabeth is famous. After all, after Cape Town and Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth is famous around the world for its jazz.

Amasiko sang by Nomzamo Mkhuzo at the ILAM/Red Location Museum concert in New Brighton, Port Elizabeth.


And rightly so. Nomzamo’s performance during the concert that day was a gem in the rough the way she can still sing and hit those high notes. When Brown Sugar, a young male vocalist backed by the band Take Note, sang Nomzamo’s composition, ‘Into Zangoku’, Nomzamo joined him to create a duet in which she did a impressive scat – their performance made clear that New Brighton Jazz is still alive and kickin’. Proof of a living jazz heritage. Three generations of jazz musicians and singers were on stage last sunday afternoon. I witnessed three generations of love.

parts of this content is based on Generations of Jazz exhibit catalogue (ILAM 2013)

to obtain copies of the DVD and/or the Generations of Jazz exhibit catalogue contact ilamsales@ru.ac.za or go to www.ru.ac.za/ilam

generations of jazz catalogue

New volume 3 -Township Jive & Kwela Jazz (1960-1965) available now!

 180 grams vinyl, CD

A limited amount of ‘Township Jive & Kwela Jazz (1960-1965) volume 3’ in both LP -180 grams vinyl and deluxe CD formats -is now available  for readers of this blog exclusively.

20 euro including S&H as Registered Airmail (+track&trace/barcode) Worldwide!

PayPal account required. Volume 1 and 2 also available.

So here it is! Soul Safari is proud to announce the release of our third compilation in collaboration with the  International Library of African Music (ILAM), Grahamstown, South Africa.

16 rare gems of Township Jive & Kwela Jazz from South Africa recorded between 1960-1965.

Official date of release; October 31st 2014

LPhoesVoordeel3WebBig

180 grams vinyl LP -Catalog nr. UP 2014.006LP

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 CD -Catalog nr. UP 2014.006CD

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Soul Safari started as a blog to showcase the music of Africa with a strong emphasis on South Africa. Now in its 6th year, Soul Safari is proud to present the third volume of the compilation ‘Township Jive & Kwela Jazz’, a collection of rare gems originally released as shellac 78’s in the period 1960-1965 in South Africa.

On this third volume the selection features the gorgeous close harmony vocal groups singing in the tradition of American R & B and doo wop. But always with that typical South African swing and sung in the Zulu or Xhosa languages. DJ Eddy de Clercq who initiated this compilation in close collaboration with ILAM, also selected a few tunes that stand for the transition from early jive to mbanqaga, a most democratic vocal style characterized by the typical ‘groaning’, a form of call and answer between the male leader (groaner) and female singers. Mbanqaga would follow up jive as the popular vocal music from 1965 onwards.
Kwela jazz knew many variations in which the original instrument, the penny whistle was traded in for accordion, violin, even a melodica, an instrument that also became widely popular in Jamaica. Similarities with uptempo ska can be heard in tunes by Kid Ma Wrong Wrong and Bra Sello featured on this compilation. Again an exciting selection of rare recordings from the heyday of South African Jive & Kwela. Truly music treasures from a long gone past.

All recordings were prepared and mastered from the original 78rpm shellac discs from the ILAM archives. The goal was to clear the dust and dirt of ages gone by, while preserving the original dynamics of the recordings and to keep the sound as little altered as possible.

LPhoesdeel3Achter

 iTunes downloads

Soul Safari presents Township Jive & Kwela Jazz (1960-1965)-Volume 3

Side A

01.    Ngibosen Twist -Telegram Specials   (1965)   02:20

02.    Izwe Liyasha – The Young Stars (1965)        02:48

03.    Ulowa – The Young Stars   (1965)                 02:29

04.    Intogeymy  -The Lower Buttons  (1964)       02:23

05.    Nylon -The Lower Buttons (1964)                 02:53

06.    Kudala Ngizula -Cowboy Superman & His Cowboy Sisters  (1960)        02:15

07.    Manka Binde -Que Sisters (1962)                02:46

08     Nice Time -Que Sisters      (1962)                02:41

Side B

01. Mangothobane -Flying Jazz Queens (1965)                 02:17

02.  Wamuhle Lomfana -Flying Jazz Queens     (1965)       02:26

03.   Unjak’ Upelile -Izintombi Zesi Manje Manje          (1965)        02:2

04.  Five Two Six -Kid Ma Wrong Wrong (1965)                 02:22

05.  Gumba Gumba 800-Kid Ma Wrong Wrong (1965) 02:22

06.   Seven Stitches -Kid Ma Wrong Wrong (1965)                 02:23

07.  Rock Phata 1001-Kid Ma Wrong Wrong with the SDV Swing Band (1965)    02:39

08.  Lulu Part 4 –Bra Sello (1960) 02:24

 

This compilation ℗ + © 2014 Ubuntu Publishing. All rights reserved

 Marketed by Ubuntu Publishing. Distributed by Rush Hour-Amsterdam, Nieuwe Zijdsvoorburgwal 130 B, 1012ST Amsterdam, The Netherlands

distribution@rushhour.nl

Check out our other releases

Township Jive & Kwela Jazz Volume 1(1940-1960)

Soul Safari Township Jive Kwela Jazz 24 juni 11

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 Township Jive & Kwela Jazz Volume 2

TownshipJiveKwelaJazzVol2 front

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cowboy superman & his cowboy sisters -label kudala ngizula