Liberation Music: The Role of Jazz Music in Radical Politics of South Africa

This event is an Olio, art exhibit, and concert all in one!

South African jazz has always had its own trajectory within the jazz tradition. From the mining hostels in the 1800’s to the dance halls of Apartheid-era Soweto; the mixing of Arabic, Malay, Khoi and San ancestry in the carnival troupes of the Cape; the musical styles of Goema, Marabi, Mbaqanga and Samba; the influence of John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk’s jazz scene in New York; and the free jazz movements of the 60’s and 70’s; all helped shape the rich tradition of South African jazz. Musicians like Zim Ngqawana, the Blue Notes and the more recent Amanda Freedom Ensemble have strong links to what is happening socially while maintaining a firm grip on the jazz tradition. The coexistence of social issues with the musical tradition, is the essence of jazz to many people.

The past few years has seen student uprisings across South Africa. At the heart of the uprisings is the fact that for most people South Africa did not change much from its Apartheid days. The uprisings are driving a decolonising and intersectional movement aimed at dismantling structural racism, patriarchy and the exploitation of workers by neoliberal capitalism. This Olio focuses on the role that jazz musicians have played in shaping radical liberation politics and the liberation politics that have in turn shaped jazz in South Africa. Sure jazz isn’t listened to by every revolutionary but the spirit that drives the music is revolutionary and many musicians and artists have used their voices to create a social scene for resistance to flourish.

* Performance and Art exhibit to follow the class*

Musician and activist William Parker will join forces with South African musicians Kesivan Naidoo, Abraham Mennen and Brooklyn born Dan Kurfirst in a performance following the lecture.

A profile exhibition of past and current South African based musicians, artists and activists will be on display as well!











When: Fri., February 10, 2017 at 7:00 pm
Where: The Strand
828 Broadway
212-473-1452
Price: $25
Buy tickets/get more info now
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This event is an Olio, art exhibit, and concert all in one!

South African jazz has always had its own trajectory within the jazz tradition. From the mining hostels in the 1800’s to the dance halls of Apartheid-era Soweto; the mixing of Arabic, Malay, Khoi and San ancestry in the carnival troupes of the Cape; the musical styles of Goema, Marabi, Mbaqanga and Samba; the influence of John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk’s jazz scene in New York; and the free jazz movements of the 60’s and 70’s; all helped shape the rich tradition of South African jazz. Musicians like Zim Ngqawana, the Blue Notes and the more recent Amanda Freedom Ensemble have strong links to what is happening socially while maintaining a firm grip on the jazz tradition. The coexistence of social issues with the musical tradition, is the essence of jazz to many people.

The past few years has seen student uprisings across South Africa. At the heart of the uprisings is the fact that for most people South Africa did not change much from its Apartheid days. The uprisings are driving a decolonising and intersectional movement aimed at dismantling structural racism, patriarchy and the exploitation of workers by neoliberal capitalism. This Olio focuses on the role that jazz musicians have played in shaping radical liberation politics and the liberation politics that have in turn shaped jazz in South Africa. Sure jazz isn’t listened to by every revolutionary but the spirit that drives the music is revolutionary and many musicians and artists have used their voices to create a social scene for resistance to flourish.

* Performance and Art exhibit to follow the class*

Musician and activist William Parker will join forces with South African musicians Kesivan Naidoo, Abraham Mennen and Brooklyn born Dan Kurfirst in a performance following the lecture.

A profile exhibition of past and current South African based musicians, artists and activists will be on display as well!

Buy tickets/get more info now