Miriam Makeba was the first African to win a Grammy, but only when she partnered with a US star, Harry Belafonte.
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
African artists with major US industry support have the advantage - now more than ever.
The late Sathima Bea Benjamin, jazz singer and composer, has a track on As-Shams Archive Volume 1.
Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images
The legendary As-Shams jazz label has released the first of several compilation albums recovered from its archive.
Shane Cooper (striped shirt) with his Mabuta band members.
Photo by Aidan Tobias courtesy Shane Cooper
The album Follow the Sun shows how South African jazz draws from diversity to speak fluidly across borders.
Photo by James Andanson/Sygma via Getty Images
Makeba, who would have turned 90 on 4 March 2022, was a hugely influential artist and an icon of African liberation and identity.
Tsepo Tshola during the memorial service of Hugh Masekela in 2018.
Frennie Shivambu/Gallo Images
Schooled in music through church, he was driven by a fierce sense of belonging to Lesotho where he was born, and neighbouring South Africa.
Jürgen Schadeberg in 1955 with trainee photographers at Drum, Peter Magubane, left, and Bob Gosani. Both became well-known photographers.
© Jürgen Schadeberg
The gift of his images lies in their depiction of the social worlds that apartheid sought to destroy, but that live on through the photographs.
Musician Ndikho Xaba.
Supplied by the Xaba family.
Musician Ndikho Xaba rejected boundaries. He lived and played what he believed – uncompromisingly
Jonas Gwangwa in 2010.
The politics of Jonas Gwangwa’s music have stayed constant over the years, and are also apparent in the eight albums he has released in South Africa since returning from 30 years of exile.
Oliver Mtukudzi has left the world his greatest prized possession – the gift of song.
Hugh Masekela performing in 2015.
Esa Alexander/The Times
The protest song “Stimela” remains as much a song about present and future aspirations, as it is of the past.
Jonas Gwangwa performing in Germany in 2010.
South African jazz veteran Jonas Gwangwa has been getting recognition for the pivotal role he played in ‘singing down apartheid.’
Hugh Masekela’s 30 years of exile began shortly after the Sharpeville Massacre.
Hugh Masekela’s itinerary-in-exile was loud and clear in his songs.
Andile Gumbi beats down his opponent Given Mkhize in the King Kong musical.
The returned musical “King Kong” embodies the germinating seeds of two potential and mutually exclusive South Africas.
Meshack Mavuso played the role of ‘The Man with the Green Blanket’ in ‘Marikana the Musical’
Two musicals set in working class mining communities – one in the UK and the other in South Africa – have diametrically opposed messages: one of hope; the other, despair.
In a track called Bring it Back Home, Hugh Masekela bemoans the tendency by politicians, who after ascending to power, discard the people who helped them get there.
Andrea De Silva/Reuters
Concert organisers began to compete for government contracts. Often these contracts came with conditions as to who, among musicians, was desirable at government events.