Afro-Cuban Music Explosion in South Africa

Por By Silvio Gonzalez *

The City of Cape Town hosted two concerts of the world famous jazz musicians: South African Jimmy Dludlu and Cuban award winner jazz musician Roberto Fonseca.

The concerts were part of a Cuban-Cape Town Cultural Exchange Program that was carried out with the support of the Cuban Embassy in South Africa.

Both musicians played the first and second of June in the Afro Cuban Benefit Concerts at the City Hall in aid of the Nelson Mandela’s Children’s Hospital.

These concerts will launch the series of musical events aimed at raising funds for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, which is due to open in 2014 in Johannesburg," explained Grant Pascoe, the City’s committee member for Tourism, Events and Marketing.

Hosted by the City of Cape Town and by Shado Twala of Black Olive Entertainment, the inaugural jazz fusion concerts were held in the St George’s Cathedral and the Cape Town City Hall.

Part of the proceeds of the cathedral concert will go toward the church’s roof repair fund," says Twala.

Also following these concerts, the musicians will present a workshop at the City Hall for young South Africa emerging jazz musicians and for all of those who were interested.

Initiator of the project, Twala said: "Having these jazz concerts creates audiences to keep musicians alive. There are so many unemployed musicians and we in South Africa have so much talent, that Art is not a formalised industry and by getting these young musicians to a workshop, they can be empowered with shared skills".

Fonseca also launch his new album, "YO", that is dedicated to Africa, at those the Cape Town concerts.

He studied at the Cuba’s prestigious Instituto Superior de Arte (University of Arts), where he obtained a Master’s Degree in Composition. That period of intense work and touring around the world, led Fonseca to realise that his music was ready for creating his own project.

He dug deep to compose each of the songs that form his composition "Zamazu", the result of the integration of all his influences; Afro Cuban music, Jazz, Classical music, and traditional Cuban music.

His live shows have captivating audience world wide for more than a decade. On his new album he explores new sounds and dimensions by blending traditional acoustic instruments with electronic elements.

"His latest collection of originals features, his knockout touring band and guest vocalists, remain steeped in the razor-sharp rhythms and sultry emotions of Cuban musical tradition" wrote the The Financial Times of London.

"A fabulously gifted pianist, composer and band leader… a gift for melody that outshines more celebrated peers…one of a new breed who can transcend musical boundaries through sheer quality" wrote The Guardian.

The Cuban film director Jorge Fuentes presented "Temperamento", a documentary on the band that shows some historical moments of the group and at the premiere in Havana thousand of people attended and the band also played live, told Prensa Latina band bass player Yandi Martínez González.

On the other hand, Jimmy Dludlu has been hailed as one of Africa hottest jazz talents and his skills, not only as a guitarist, but also as an insightful composer and arranger, underlines his music’s outstanding style.

His latest album, "Tonota", recently won this year’s South African Music Award for Jazz Album of the Year.

South African distinguish painter Nico Phooko also joined the musicians at both concerts to express his musical impressions on canvas.

He was on stage and expressing his emotional reaction to whatever was in the music with his brush strokes on a canvas on both nights.

One of his paintings that came out from this bilateral artistic collaboration was also donated to the hospital named in honour of the first democratic president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela.

*English Editor at Prensa Latina News Agency.

Modificado el ( miércoles, 13 de junio de 2012 )


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