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The late, legendary percussionist Mabi Thobejane pictured in 2018. MELT 2000/Forest Jam Southern Africa

The magnificent Mabi Thobejane, master South African drummer

He did not so much play the drums, as become the drum. His influence was felt through his trailblazing percussive work and his many collaborations.
Zim Ngqawana (1959-2011) on saxophone leading his Zimology Quartet in New York, 2008. Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images

Remembering Zim Ngqawana 10 years on, a singular force in South African music

Despite devastating setbacks like his studio being vandalised, the saxophonist and teacher believed that music can heal - part of a vision that shaped a future generation of jazz artists.
Sibongile Khumalo in New York in 2014, alongside McCoy Mrubata on tenor saxophone. Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images

Remembering Sibongile Khumalo, South Africa’s divine diva

She was a vocalist who sang in every style – from Carmen to UShaka – with equal mastery, popularising classical forms and epitomising ‘the new South Africa’.
Sathima Bea Benjamin was seldom recognised during her lifetime as a performer. Ian Bruce Huntley

The marginalised African Songbird who finally became visible again

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.

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