Explorations in African History: Reading Patrick Harries, by Veit Arlt, Stephanie Bishop and Pascal Schmid

Explorations in African History: Reading Patrick Harries, by Veit Arlt, Stephanie Bishop and Pascal Schmid. Basler Afrika Bibliographien. Basel, Switzerland 2015. ISBN 9783905758627 / ISBN 978-3-905758-62-7

Explorations in African History: Reading Patrick Harries, by Veit Arlt, Stephanie Bishop and Pascal Schmid. Basler Afrika Bibliographien. Basel, Switzerland 2015. ISBN 9783905758627 / ISBN 978-3-905758-62-7

The following excerpt from "Explorations in African History: Reading Patrick Harries" edited by Veit Arlt, Stephanie Bishop and Pascal Schmid, is one of 14 contributions.

Veit Arlt  

South African Jazz: The Basel Connection

Jazz has played an important role in the history of South Africa, and since the mid-twentieth century, the country probably features the strongest jazz scene on the continent. The jazz that was created in places such as Sophiatown in the 1950s was part of a lively African urban culture. It was progressive and cosmopolitan in its outlook taking the Harlem Renaissance as a point of reference and source of inspiration. Jazz then was a means to express the aspirations of the disenfranchised population, and to assert humanity in a dehumanising environment. If the 1950s were the high time of the swinging and stomping township jazz, the 1960s saw young musicians pushing the limits of their music, developing cutting-edge, radical sounds. The tightening of the apartheid system, the limits set to their development and interracial cooperation and the constant harassment by the authorities drove a great number of musicians into exile. Sathima Bea Benjamin, Dollar Brand (Abdullah Ibrahim), Johnny Dyani, Mongezi Feza, Johnny Geertze, Chris McGregor, Makaya Ntshoko, Dudu Pukwana, Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela, Louis Moholo and Philip Tabane are just some of those who were part of this first wave of exiled musicians. With an enormous energy based on the experience of apartheid and exile these South African jazz artists fuelled the international jazz scene, most especially free jazz. Unfortunately many of them perished in that creative fire. In the 1990s jazz again provided the sound track to the making of the new South Africa. While the African Jazz Pioneers toured internationally as cultural ambassadors transporting an ever catchy jive based on the music of the 1950s, musicians from a new generation were again exploring new ways of interpreting South African Jazz, and in places such as the Bassline in Melville they created new sounds for a new South Africa: Zim Ngqawana, Andile Yenana, Feya Faku, Moses Molelekwa, Sipho Gumede, Gito Baloi, Vusi Mahlasela, Louis Mhlanga, Carlo Mombelli, Marcus Wyatt, Mac McKenzie, Hilton Schilder, McCoy Mrubata or Paul Hanmer are some of the musicians who are emblematic for a scene that has consistently developed South African jazz further. They explored the meaning of jazz and the country's rich musical heritage in new and diverse ways, challenging conventions and experimenting with formats. This resulted at instances in fusion, cross-over and avant-garde jazz. In contrast to this rich and dynamic scene, the international music market is largely dominated by a few well established artists from the first generation of exiled musicians. Top scorers are the late Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela and Abdullah Ibrahim, whereas the truly dynamic current generation of South African artists hardly gets the international attention it deserves. Basel, however, has become one of the few places worldwide where the new South African jazz scene regularly receives exposure. The Basel audience indeed has acquired a taste and understanding for contemporary jazz from the Cape. [...]

This is an excerpt from the book: Explorations in African History: Reading Patrick Harries, by Veit Arlt, Stephanie Bishop and Pascal Schmid.

Title: Explorations in African History: Reading Patrick Harries
Editors: Veit Arlt, Stephanie Bishop and Pascal Schmid
Genre: Photographic collection
Publisher: Basler Afrika Bibliographien
Basel, Switzerland 2015
ISBN 9783905758627 / ISBN 978-3-905758-62-7
Softcover, 17 x 24 cm, 96 pages

Arlt, Veit und Bishop, Stephanie und Schmid, Pascal im Namibiana-Buchangebot

Explorations in African History: Reading Patrick Harries

Explorations in African History: Reading Patrick Harries

"Explorations in African History: Reading Patrick Harries" is a collection of essays documenting the growth of African history as a discipline at the University of Basel since 2001.

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