Belafonte & South African Music Stars

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(Hugh Masekela will reunite with Abdullah Ibrahim in NYC concert).

Joy, passion, power, pride and hope will fill the air at New York City Center on November 16 at 8PM when a rare constellation of South African music stars come together for Sounds of South Africa.

The one-night-only concert event, under the patronage of Harry Belafonte, will feature a rare reunion of legendary South African music pioneers Hugh Masekela and Abdullah Ibrahim as well as the U.S. debut of the highly-acclaimed Soweto String Quartet, and a special performance by the inspired South African songstress Khanyo.

Proceeds from the event will go toward funding opportunities for young South African talent to perform in the United States and gain valuable access to the international market.

Tickets for Sounds of South Africa are $50 and $25 and are available by phone through CityTix at 212-581-1212, online at NYCityCenter.Org or at the New York City Center box office at West 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues.  Group discounts of 15% are available for groups of 8 or more.

Iconic jazz trumpeter and world fusion great Hugh Masekela is known around the globe for his electrifying live performances and acclaimed recordings, which deftly mix jazz, bebop, funk and Afrobeat into an inimitable and unforgettable musical stew. Masekela’s success has translated across many mediums.  These include his hit song Grazing in the Grass, the Broadway triumph Sarafina, his anthem Bring Back Nelson Mandela, Bring Him Back Home to Soweto and his high-profile work with Paul Simon, beginning with Graceland.  His long list of collaborators is a virtual “who’s who� spanning generations of music greats, including Bob Marley, The Byrds, Harry Belafonte, Dizzy Gillespie, Simon and a host of Motown stars. 

Throughout his career, Masekela has served as one of his nation’s most gifted and tireless cultural ambassadors. This concert, with its goal of opening doors for South Africa’s talented young musicians, is a perfect example of his dedication and commitment to exporting the nation’s extraordinary talent around the world.

World-renowned pianist Abdullah Ibrahim has, along with Masekela, been at the forefront of the South African music scene since its earliest days. The pair joined forces with the legendary alto saxophonist Kippie Moeketsi to form the Jazz Epistles, a group that seamlessly melded swinging jazz and “shabeen� dance music. He has been hailed for his unique collaboration with jazz drum dean Max Roach as well as for a symphonic piece written for string players from the Youth Orchestra of the European Community. The piece, which blends jazz and classical influences, won him wide critical acclaim.

Ibrahim knows a thing or two about being afforded big breaks--he first burst onto the music scene as a protégé of Duke Ellington, who set him up with a recording session at his own Reprise Studios and organized Ibrahim’s first U.S performances. 
Today his more than 250 compositions (which include the soundtrack for the film Chocolat) have earned him accolades around the world.  He continues to reach out to young musicians through an academy offering a spectrum of music and as director of the Cape Town Jazz Orchestra.

The Soweto String Quartet captures the vibrant rhythms and indomitable spirit of its home with a sound and style that is fresh, funky and original.  The ensemble’s acclaimed recordings and unforgettable live performances bring together traditional rhythms, Township Jazz, Pop songs, Jazz Fusion and strong classical influences and have been cited as a true celebration of the resilient township spirit.  Khanyo was first seen and heard by audiences at the age of 14 when she earned a role in Sarafina. 

Since that time she has been delighting audiences with her powerful vocals, both as a noted background singer and in her burgeoning solo career, which has featured three albums including the recently-released Let My Heart Sing.

The “Sounds of South Africa� concert is presented by National Geographic Traveler magazine in association with South African Tourism. 

For ticket reservations and information contact CityTix at 212-581-1212, or visit online at NYCityCenter.Org. For travel and tourism information on South Africa contact South African Tourism at 500 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2040, New York, NY 10110; Tel: 212-730-2929.

To subscribe to or advertise in New York’s leading Pan African weekly investigative newspaper, please call (212) 481-7745 or send a note to [email protected]  Our motto is: “Speaking Truth To Empower.â€?

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