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January 23, 2018

Goldmine Magazine Led Zeppelin author Martin Popoff is the guest on Goldmine Magazine Podcast, Episode 16

Led Zeppelin author Martin Popoff talks to Goldmine editor Patrick Prince about his latest book Led Zeppelin: All The Albums, All The Songs and his features in the February issue of Goldmine Magazine with Led Zeppelin on the cover.

The post Led Zeppelin author Martin Popoff is the guest on Goldmine Magazine Podcast, Episode 16 appeared first on Goldmine Magazine.

from Goldmine Magazine
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Ionarts #morninglistening to #Bach #cellosuites on @eudorarecords…

#morninglistening to #Bach #cellosuites on @eudorarecords w/@soundceku on the #guitar
Works terrifically well.
#PetritCeku started recording on @NaxosRecords ’ Laureate Guitar series.
Much preferred to transcriptions for harp or marimba, certainly
#classicalmusic #SACD #classicalmusiccollection #chambermusic #EarlyMusic #baroquemusic #PetritÇeku

from Ionarts
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Ionarts #morninglistening to #VaughanWilliams & #Bernstein w/&…

#morninglistening to #VaughanWilliams & #Bernstein w/& on @ChoirOfKingsCam
@RVWSociety / @RVWtweets / @LennyBernstein
Dona nobis pacem & #ChichesterPsalms – one of Lennies better works. @surprisedbeauty music!
#classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #choralmusic #20thCenturyMusic #britishmusic #americanclassicalmusic #surprisedbybeauty

from Ionarts
Take a look at what’s for sale at mandersmedia on Discogs A new BBC Radio 3 choral commission to mark the centenary of women’s suffrage


A new choral work has been commissioned by BBC Radio 3 to commemorate 100 years since women were granted the vote. The Pankhurst Anthem is composed by Lucy Pankhurst, with text by writer and women’s rights activist Helen Pankhurst, based on the words of her great-grandmother, the leader of the British suffragette movement Emmeline Pankhurst.

The piece will be performed in two parts – ‘Echoes of Emmeline’ and ‘Anthem’, and is designed to be sung by choirs of any size, with an uncomplicated melody to encourage others to perform it.

‘Working with Helen has been such a wonderful experience’, says Lucy. ‘Her stirring words, derived from those of Emmeline Pankhurst, are so powerfully emotive – setting them to music was a very humbling experience’.

The Pankhurst Anthem will be premiered online, performed by BBC Singers and conducted by Hilary Campbell, and will be available to be available to view on the BBC Radio 3 website from 6 February to mark the date of the centenary of women’s suffrage. The vocal scores will also be on the Radio 3 website on this date, available to download free to sing with your choir.

The live premiere will take place on the opening day of Radio 3’s Free Thinking Festival at Sage Gateshead on 9 March.

The March issue of BBC Music Magazine will include radio and live listings of other concerts celebrating International Women’s Day and the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage.

Take a look at what’s in Classical at mandersmedia on Discogs

Songlines World Music News Obituary: Hugh Masekela 1939-2018

Hugh Masekela x 700

Photography © Brett Rubin

Nigel Williamson on the life of the colossus of South African music who died today

There’s an extraordinary photo of a 16-year-old Hugh Masekela taken in the township of Sophiatown on the day in 1955 when he received a new trumpet, sent from the US by Louis Armstrong.

The image of him leaping for joy with the instrument waved triumphantly above his head seems to personify much about both his music and the spirit of the man.


His songs spoke movingly of the struggles and sorrows of his people – for example  ‘Stimela’, on which he recounted the hardship of black migrant workers in South Africa’s coal mines, or ‘Soweto Blues’, which he wrote for his ex-wife Miriam Makeba to sing after the 1976 township massacre. Yet at the same time Masekela’s music was imbued with a resilient joy-to-be-alive sentiment and a defiant hope that one day his country would be free.

Fast forward to Masekela in exile in the 60s, where he is emerging as a talented but conventional trumpeter on the New York jazz scene. Miles Davis takes him on one side and gives him some advice that will shape his musical vision for the rest of his life. “You’re just going to be a statistic if you play jazz,” Davis tells him. “But if you put in some of the stuff you remember from Africa, you’ll be different from everybody.”

The result was a glorious fusion of American jazz and African township rhythms which made him anti-apartheid’s premier musical ambassador and in 1968 took him to number one in the American pop charts with ‘Grazin’ in the Grass’.

Over the next 50 years there were many ups and downs but the spirit of his music continued to shine true and its message of hope triumphing over adversity never wavered. Masekela eventually returned to South Africa in 1990 following the release from prison of Nelson Mandela.

His ferocity mellowed and he became a benign and avuncular elder statesman of the post-apartheid era. He continued to record and tour but spent much of his time and energy mentoring younger South African artists, even while battling cancer.

“I’ve had a very rich life,” he said.  “The best thing I can do now is to encourage a new generation of talented people to come through.”

RIP, Bra Hugh.

from Songlines World Music News
Take a look at what’s in Folk, World & Country at mandersmedia on Discogs

The Real Mick Rock “The true art of being young is knowing how to defy… Hugh Masekela (1939-2018)


Hugh Masekela, the trumpeter and anti-apartheid campaigner, has died in Johannesburg at the age of 78. His family have announced that he ‘passed peacefully after a protracted and courageous battle with prostate cancer’.

Born in the South African town of Witbank, Masekela's interest in music began when he was three. In an interview with BBC Music Magazine he explained how it began when he discovered the gramophone: ‘I thought there was people who lived inside and that’s where I wanted to live’. After seeing the movie Young Man With A Horn, starring Kirk Douglas, Masekela was given a trumpet by his teacher as a deal to keep him out of trouble.

In 1959 he joined the groundbreaking African jazz group The Jazz Epistles which also featured the pianist Dollar Brand (later known as Abdullah Ibrahim). Masekela left South Africa in 1960 to go into exile. He studied at London’s Guildhall School of Music and then in New York where he became immersed in the jazz club scene.

Many hits followed, including US chart-topper ‘Grazing in the Grass’ (1968) with its catchy cowbell rhythms and ‘Ha Lese Le Di Khanna’. His tune ‘Stimela’ recreates, through vocal percussion, the sounds of the ‘cursed’ steam train that took migrant coal miners to Johannesburg. However, it was his 1987 song ‘Bring Him Back Home (Nelson Mandela)’ that became an international anthem for the anti-apartheid movement. Masekela returned to South Africa in 1990 when Mandela was released from prison.

Masekela spent decades performing at festivals around the world, with notable appearances at Monterey Pop in 1967 and subsequent spots at the EFG London Jazz Festival, the Montreal Jazz Festival, the Glastonbury Festival and many, many more. 

His concerts often revealed his humour, as he recalled the stories behind his songs. 'Khawuleza', he said, referred to the alarm call he shouted when he was a child on watch at his grandmother’s illegal shebeen bar. 'Khawuleza – it means “Mama, hide the booze, the police are coming!”’

South African president Jacob Zuma has paid tribute to the jazz legend, saying: ‘It’s an immeasurable loss to the music industry and to the country. His contribution to the struggle for liberation will never be forgotten.’

Click here to read the BBC Music Magazine interview with Hugh Masekela when he turned 70.

Take a look at what’s in Classical at mandersmedia on Discogs Free Download: Alamire’s tribute to Tallis and Katherine Parr

This week's free download is Tallis's 'See, Lord, and behold' with words by Queen Katherine Parr, performed by Alamire, accompanied by Fretwork and conducted by David Skinner. The disc it is taken from, 'Thomas Tallis, Queen Katherine Parr & Songs of Reformation' was our Recording of the Month in the January issue of BBC Music Magazine.


If you'd like to enjoy our free weekly download simply log in or sign up to our website.

Once you've done that, return to this page and you'll be able to see a 'Download Now' button on the picture above – simply click on it to download your free track.

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Songlines World Music News Hugh Masekela, a beginner’s guide


Hugh Masekela has died at the age of 78. We publish this guide to his life and music as a tribute… (photo: Brett Rubin)

Diane Coetzer traces the impressive career of the hugely influential South African horn player

When Hugh Masekela’s recording of ‘Grazing in the Grass’ streaked to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1968, it brought the trumpeter international fame on a scale unprecedented for a South African. The cut, which appeared on the album The Promise of a Future, had been issued by Chisa (Zulu slang for ‘Hot’), a label Masekela had started with producer Stewart Levine in the mid-60s. Opening with the sound of Masekela playing on a cowbell with two drumsticks, ‘Grazing in the Grass’ featured Bruce Langhorne’s easy-going guitar work but it was Masekela’s buoyant horn, joyfully carrying with it a distinctive African styling, that cast a spell over American listeners.

Still, Masekela’s stunning success with the Philemon Hou-composed instrumental was bittersweet for the 29-year-old exile. Spooked by a close call with the apartheid regime’s special branch police and shocked at the massacre of peaceful demonstrators in Sharpeville in March, Masekela had finally been able to get a passport in May 1960 and boarded a plane for London, and, a few months later, the US. Encouraged and championed by Miriam Makeba, who was living in New York, Masekela left behind a loving family who had watched their son and brother’s early interest in music develop into a full-blown obsession to be a trumpet player.

In 1953, while a teenager at Johannesburg’s St Peter’s boarding school, he’d seen Kirk Douglas in Young Man with a Horn and had wasted no time in persuading Father Trevor Huddleston, his school superintendent and a leading anti-apartheid activist, to help him get his first trumpet. Over the next seven years Masekela honed his playing skills with the school band and the Huddlestone Jazz Band, and was soon gigging with the Merry Makers’ Orchestra where he learned how to hold long notes and play confidently between mbaqanga grooves. He took up with the African Jazz and Variety Revue, which was taking township jazz across the country, and played trumpet in King Kong, the first ‘all-African jazz opera’ featuring Makeba in the female lead. In the months before Masekela’s flight into exile, he had also formed The Jazz Epistles with Abdullah Ibrahim (then known as Dollar Brand), Kippie Moeketsi, Jonas Gwangwa and Johnny Gertze – in the process creating what is still the most thrilling line-up of jazz musicians in South Africa’s history. The band’s sole record, Jazz Epistle Verse 1, remains a dazzlingly original showcase of modern jazz.

On the day of Masekela’s arrival in New York he went to the Jazz Gallery on East Eighth Street to see Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk. With the ever-generous Makeba as the link, Masekela had been corresponding with Gillespie while still in South Africa, and the American trumpeter later took him to another club to meet Charles Mingus and Max Roach. On the way back uptown at the end of the night, he stopped at the Half Note where John Coltrane was performing with a new group.

This intoxicating introduction to the American jazz scene set the tone for Masekela’s years in exile, that saw him blot out the aching for his family and country by unabashedly embracing the musical possibilities offered by his new home. He met Levine during his second year at the Manhattan School of Music and soon began getting session and club work. With Harry Belafonte’s encouragement, he began recording Trumpet Africaine: The New Beat from South Africa – the first of what is now a catalogue of 44 solo recordings. Masekela hated his debut, dubbing the record a “disaster.” He quickly realised that future recordings should be based on repertoire drawn from the music he’d been raised on and that he’d played back home. He also reignited his songwriting, composing the mbaqanga bebop track ‘U, Dwi’ for his second album, Grrr, which additionally saw Masekela branching out into singing on tracks like ‘Umaningi Bona’.

From his teenage days as an emerging musician in South Africa, Masekela had never shied away from collaboration and he ramped this up in the US. It’s Masekela’s trumpet solo you can hear on The Byrds’ hit single ‘So You Want to be a Rock’n’Roll Star’ – the last in their original line-up. He worked with Louis Armstrong, Belafonte, Gillespie, Fela Kuti, Marvin Gaye and Herb Alpert (on the 1978 album Herb Alpert & Hugh Masekela), among others. Together with Levine, Masekela organised Zaire 74 – a music festival companion to George Foreman and Muhammad Ali’s ‘Rumble in the Jungle.’ The trumpeter later joined Paul Simon when he toured Graceland in 1987, playing his political anthem ‘Mandela (Bring Him Back Home)’ to audiences across the world.

Musically, Masekela matched his jazz rigour with a magpie’s eye for musical forms that were an easy fit for his playing style and taste. The 1971 album Hugh Masekela & The Union of South Africa was flavoured with Nigerian highlife and soul, and his work with Ghanaian band Hedzoleh Soundz on the 1973 album, Masekela Introducing Hedzoleh Soundz, spliced Afrobeat with Masekela’s free-floating trumpet. This wide-ranging curiosity and appetite for different music was formed in Masekela’s youth. “I’ve had a very rich life, because Johannesburg was a melting pot of especially migrant labourers from all over southern and central Africa,” Masekela told me a few years ago. “So I was luckier than most human beings to grow up in an environment where, on weekends, you would have a choice of seeing Mozambican or Tsonga people while in another part of town, on an open veld, you could see Zulus, Sothos, Twanas, Namibians, Malawians, Zimbabweans and Botswana folk.”

By his own admission Masekela was not equipped to handle the success that ‘Grazing in the Grass’ brought. ‘I became obsessed with the pleasures of the flesh, which only led to sleepless nights, mind-boggling immorality, dishonesty, broken hearts, and hung-over mornings,’ he writes in Still Grazing: The Musical Journey of Hugh Masekela, the hugely readable autobiography he co-authored with D Michael Cheers. His return to South Africa in September 1990, after 30 years in exile, did little to end Masekela’s addictions and in 1997 he entered rehab in the UK.

These days Masekela is the recipient of multiple awards, including South Africa’s highest order, The Order of Ikhamanga, as well as a number of honorary degrees and doctorates. Although now in his late 70s, he’s still recording – his most recent record, No Borders, earned him a South African Music Award for Best Adult Contemporary Album.

His 60-year-plus live performing career has, however, been put on hold with news that Masekela – who has been in treatment for prostate cancer since 2008 – recently had an emergency operation to remove a tumour. ‘I have cancelled my commitments for the immediate future as I will need all my energy to continue this fight against prostate cancer,’ he said in a statement issued on October 6. This includes his upcoming UK date at the EFG London Jazz Festival where he was due to perform with Abdullah Ibrahim.

Even as he battles “this stealthy disease,” Masekela’s driving passion remains “making heritage visible,” as witnessed by the annual Hugh Masekela Heritage Festival, which takes place in Soweto in early November. For the first time in its four-year run, the festival’s namesake didn’t collaborate with the line-up of talent, which this year included BCUC, Johnny Cradle and Oliver Mtukudzi. But his commitment to the event, and other heritage-based initiatives, continues. He says, “I advise every kid to check out their past because without a past you are in limbo.”




(MGM, 1966)

After the disappointment he felt in Trumpet Africaine, Masekela settled into his own musical style for his second album, confidently giving mbaqanga an emotional complexity on tracks like ‘Sharpeville’.



The Promise of a Future

(Chisa, 1968)

The No 1 hit ‘Grazing in the Grass’ featured in this gorgeous set, which also included ‘Vuca (Wake Up)’, a self-penned, rootsy track that convincingly combined Masekela’s vocal and trumpet-playing.



I Am Not Afraid

(Chisa/Blue Thumb, 1974)

Recorded in LA with Hedzoleh Soundz, the seven-track record opens with a heady version of the Dizzy Gillespie’s ‘Night in Tunisia’ but the album’s emotional heart is ‘Stimela’, Masekela’s epic lament for southern Africa’s migrant labour force.



Hugh Masekela Presents the CHISA Years: 1965-1975 (Rare & Unreleased)

(BBE Records, 2006)

Fourteen lost tracks of sheer musical joy are gathered together on this release featuring Masekela playing with Letta Mbulu, Johannesburg Street Band, Ojah and others. A Top of the World review in #36.



No Borders

(Semopa, 2016)

Poignant and powerful, Masekela summons his very best on his latest record: a raging vocal track against slavery (‘Shuffle & Bow’), superb horn playing (‘Shango’), and a set of terrific collaborations – ‘Tapera’ with Oliver Mtukudzi especially shines. A Top of the World this issue, see p44.

from Songlines World Music News
Take a look at what’s in Folk, World & Country at mandersmedia on Discogs

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