Hugh Masekela performing during the 16th Cape Town International Jazz Festival.
Esa Alexander/The Times
South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela has made an impact across the world during his decades-long musical career – not enough attention has been paid to his innovative imagination though.
South African trumpeter, Marcus Wyatt.
Muntu Vilakazi/Sunday Times
When they arrived in Europe in the early 1960s, South African jazz outfit the Blue Notes revolutionised the London scene. Half a century later, their music is coming home in several new projects.
Swedish organist Anna von Hausswolff.
Other than church, the pipe organ is often perceived as belonging in horror movies. But there's more to the instrument that spans most musical genres.
South African jazz legend Ray Phiri passed away after a long battle with lung cancer.
Thuli Dlamini/The Times
Two of South Africa's finest musicians, Johnny Mekoa and Ray Phiri, died recently. The permeable terrain between genres their careers negotiated, is being replaced by rigid marketing categories.
Some musicians believe certain instruments, such as the trumpet, are more ‘masculine’.
Women are disturbingly under-represented in Australian jazz, with relatively few female composers and instrumentalists. What's holding them back? And what can be done about it?
Michael Jackson sings during the opening performance of a 13-city U.S. tour in 1988.
AP Photo/Cliff Schiappa
The story of African-American music is a story of eclipsing expectations and subverting norms.
St Cecilia’s Hall.
The Scottish capital is reopening a well kept secret: one of the world's finest collections of vintage sound machines.
Nick Lehr/The Conversation via Wikimedia Commons
Just as Fitzgerald's career was taking off, jazz was under attack for its purported connection to drug culture. If she wanted to become a mainstream superstar, she needed to make a choice.
Saxophonist Kamasi Washington will be performing at the 2017 Cape Town International Jazz Festival.
Something really magical is happening at the intersection between jazz and hip-hop at the moment. Many of the artists involved will be playing at Africa’s foremost jazz festival.
Is the system broken?
'Record Player' via www.shutterstock.com
After winning his Grammy in 1996, Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder said, 'I don't think this means anything.' Was he right?
No film could be more perfectly circular, more self-congratulatory and more suited to the time.
We all need a little trip to La La Land.
The cover of Childish Gambino’s album ‘Awaken my love’.
In a gloomy year filled, a number of artists with an Afrofuturist perspective gave hope with inspired works of art.
The cover of the South African afro-jazz band Batsumi’s self-titled album, which was designed by its bassist Zulu Bidi.
Sometimes album sleeves reveal little about the music. Instead they illuminate the society it came from, exposing unexpected stories of people, art forms and struggles.
Janis Joplin in a new documentary, Janis: Little Girl Blue (2015).
Janis Joplin was once voted the 'Ugliest Man on Campus'. Sharon Jones was told she was 'too old, too fat, too short, too black' to succeed in music. Two documentaries chart the lives of these extraordinary women.
The cover art of ‘Bitches Brew’ by Mati Klarwein.
‘Bitches Brew’ and ‘Live-Evil’, two albums from Miles Davis’ electric period, have more than musicological significance. They challenge the listener to think beyond aesthetics and form.
Brian Douglas/Icon Films
It places Davis in a continuing, living history of African-American sound, rather than planting him on a pedestal.
A detailed look at one of the musician's most celebrated performances gives a glimpse of the dedication which allowed talent to flourish.
Jazz in the classroom not only teaches children to play instruments; they may also learn a range of essential life skills.
Many middle-class parents buy classical CDs because it is supposed to make their kids clever. But a jazz-loving academic has started using her favourite genre in early childhood learning.
Sathima Bea Benjamin was seldom recognised during her lifetime as a performer.
Ian Bruce Huntley
It took ages for one of African jazz's hidden masterpieces to be reissued. Still today, four decades later, 1976's 'African Songbird' tells volumes about the politics of the time.