News

    Jazz Festival Pays Tribute to Late South African Singer Miriam Makeba

    The Cape Town International Jazz Festival took place late last month and played out to a sold-out crowd of more than 30 000 people. The festival featured 41 bands performing on five stages over the two nights. This year’s festival also featured a special “Tribute to Mama Africa” – to remember the music of Miriam Makeba.

    Multimedia

    Audio

    The Cape Town International Jazz Festival celebrated its 13th year at the city’s International Convention Centre.  It included a number of renowned American musicians such as James Ingram, Patti Austin, Lenny White, Allen Stone, Lauryn Hill and more. South African artists ranged from Hugh Masekela, Zahara, Lindiwe Suttle; Dorothy Masuka, Adam Glasser and Herbie Tsoaeli to name a few.

    South African musician Hugh Masekela
    South African musician Hugh Masekela

    Trumpeter and singer Hugh Masekela, who also performed last year, teamed up with three South African vocalists - Vusi Mahlasela, Thandiswa Mazwai, and Zolani Mahola - to present a musical tribute to the late African songstress Miriam Makeba.

    Hugh Masekela was the tribute's musical director.

    "Two or three years ago," he said, "we were playing at a South African festival in Toulouse in France. There was a cross-section of South African artists for the whole week, and they asked if we could put an impromptu tribute to her [Makeba]. So we rehearsed it on the afternoon of the performance and it just took the whole place by storm. Then there were requests for it all over Europe."

    After France, they toured Barcelona, London and Berlin, to sold-out shows, in 2011. This year was the first year the tribute to Miriam Makeba came to South Africa.

    "The very first person to really bring South Africa to the world’s attention was Miriam Makeba,"  said Masekela. "She invented us most musicians of today. She gave her life and a very lucrative career to talk about the struggles of Africa.

    "She raised money for liberation movements of schools, she sent me to school, she started  [the careers of South African musicians] Caiphus, Jonas Gwangwa’s and Letta Mbuli’s in the United States. There can never be another person like Miriam Makeba! Miriam Makeba is not only the patron saint of Africa, but there is no one individual that ever did as much for Africa as Miriam Makeba did."

    The tribute covered Makeba’s classics like "Soweto Blues", "Meet Me at the River", "Pata Pata" and many more. Crowds who had packed the Kippies auditorium at the festival sang along to almost all the Makeba renditions.

    This year's Cape Town International Jazz Festival included a tribute to "Mama Africa", the late legendary singer Miriam Makeba
    This year's Cape Town International Jazz Festival included a tribute to "Mama Africa", the late legendary singer Miriam Makeba

    Vusi Mahlasela is a South African musician who sings in various languages and formed part of this group paying tribute to the legendary performer.

    "Miriam did quite a lot of things for us here in South Africa," he said, "especially connecting with the world and also was able to embrace that spirit of Ubuntu [“humanity” or “sharing”], by learning other people’s languages and even to sing their languages as well. I got quite a lot of inspiration from that. We have that African idiom that says: ‘motho ke pulelo’ – meaning ‘a person is a language’ and she did that and that is what I am also choosing that in my work – singing in various languages and all."

    Miriam Makeba passed away on the 10th of November 2008. She last performed at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival in 2006 as part of her Grand Finale Tour.

    The Tribute to Mama Afrika wowed crowds also audiences at the Jazz Festival and is set to continue touring across the world, celebrating the life of Miriam Makeba.

     

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora