Showing 1-10 of 14 results


    Joy to the world of music

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 25/12/2018

    » It's been a busy year for "World Music" fans. There have been some fabulous new releases from artists across the globe, and compilations of music that might easily have gone unnoticed. But while we are celebrating new music and golden hits from the past, some musical giants have left us for the great stage in the sky.


    Boogie down one last time

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 13/01/2015

    » Johnny Otis was one of the pioneers of R&B, a key but often neglected figure in the development of rock'n'roll. Otis passed away, aged 90, at his home in California in 2012, after a lifetime in show business as a performer and band leader, composer, arranger, producer, disc jockey, nightclub owner, talent scout, political activist and cartoonist. He had over 20 R&B and pop hits between 1948-60 and was responsible for the discovery of Etta James, Hank Ballard, Jackie Wilson and Little Esther Jones, among others.


    Remembering Kak Channthy

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 03/04/2018

    » The news last week that the lead singer of the Cambodian Space Project, Kak Channthy, had died in a car crash in Phnom Penh has shocked her fans in Cambodia and across the globe. She was 38 years old.


    Rediscovering the mastery of Masekela

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 12/12/2017

    » South African jazz trumpeter Hugh Masekela has been playing music for over 70 years and is about to release his 44th album, No Borders (Universal), a particularly apt title in these days of rising nationalism. He told City Press of Capetown recently that his new album has "an international diaspora kind of feel … So that people can see we're all the same".


    Ike Turner – rock and roll pioneer

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 17/01/2017

    » Many people regard the single Rocket 88, released by Jackie Brenston and His Delta Cats in 1951, as the first "rock 'n' roll" record. The seven-inch single was produced by Sun Records in Memphis and leased to the Chess label, a label known for its hard-driving rhythm 'n' blues, and is cited for its sound, lyrical content, walking bassline and distorted guitar.


    The man who put the funk into Congolese music

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 07/07/2015

    » Congolese music is one of the cornerstones of African popular music. This irresistible dance music is loved across the African continent, and its biggest stars, like the late great icons Franco and Tabu Ley Rochereau, were mobbed wherever they played. Musically, the genres that have emerged from the Congo region, including Congolese rumba and all the various dance style from soukous to ndambolo, have been hugely influential on the popular styles in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Zimbabwe and many other African countries.


    Lush Portuguese sounds

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 12/05/2015

    » On a business trip to India last week, I had the great fortune to catch several inspirational sets of Portuguese Fado music at the Cidade de Goa resort on the beach in North Goa. It was good to be back in India, and a delight to be in the fascinating cultural melting pot of Goa, although at this time of year it is hot and humid, even perhaps hotter than Bangkok, or at least it felt that way. But India's smallest state is lush and green with some impressive trees, and a strong breeze brought relief from the pre-monsoon heat.


    Time With an african music icon

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 03/03/2015

    » They are gone now but during the 70s and 80s, Africa's two great dance music masters, Franco and Tabu Ley Rochereau were in a friendly rivalry (sometimes strained) for the title of best Congolese artist. Franco, the child guitar prodigy, whose band defined the rumba Congolese sound with his band OK Jazz, came first; Rochereau, whose sweet tenor was honed in choirs, favoured a softer more international sound.


    A step in a new Direction

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 09/09/2014

    » Mali in West Africa is best known for its amazing dance bands from the 50s, 60s and 70s, for small acoustic ensembles and for powerful singers like Salif Keita and Oumou Sangare.


    Obits to African giants

    Life, John Clewley, Published on 11/02/2014

    » Two giants of African popular music passed away recently: Congolese bandleader and singer Tabu Ley Rochereau and legendary producer Ibrahima Sylla. Both of these musical icons helped to popularise African music not only within the continent but beyond it and on to the international stage.

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