Thursday, May 15, 2008

Minton's Playhouse and South Africa

[Editor's note 2009: Following some unfortunate issues with a now-former staff member of Minton's, much of this fell through. We are working to redevelop partnerships, and we hope that we will soon position Minton's as a friend of and collaborator in international jazz. We had some house cleaning to do first.]

[Editor's note 2011: Man, FUCK Minton's Playhouse]

I wanted to draw attention to this - Minton's Playhouse in Harlem (with whom I'm working on this project) announced this week a massive expansion in jazz programming and jazz education.

One of the major components is a partnership with Fort Hare University in South Africa, which will be led by Hotep Idris Galeta. This is a very exciting new project - I'm hoping that through it, we'll get South African musicians performing here more regularly, and also that we'll be able to increase the presence of South African jazz within the United States.

Here's the release

You can download the full press kit here.

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Thursday, May 01, 2008

Sathima Bea Benjamin in AllAboutJazz

Sathima Bea Benjamin was interviewed by Maxwell Chandler at

I knew the interview was going on, but I didn't expect such a long, sweeping article. Needless to say, wonderful!

Read it here - it really gives a fantastic picture of Sathima.

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Don't get me wrong. I like the Jazz Crusaders. I also like that they worked extensively with Hugh Masekela, and have ties to South Africa. I think it's all great.

What I am not clear on, is the artwork for this album.

Why, precisely, does an album entitled Live in South Africa feature what appears to be a Siberian Tiger on its cover? More generally why in the hell does any album related to Africa feature a Tiger?

It's bad enough, thanks to The Weavers' decision to steal/shit upon the fine song "Mbube" with "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," that now a large portion of the population believes that lions are jungle creatures. But c'mon, at least they got the general CONTINENT right.

The music is pretty good though.