• Writer Mohale Mashigo shares how Jazz scored her family’s holidays

    By Mohale Mashigo The record library was huge by my eight-year-old standards; my father's job was to receive music from record labels, he would then catalogue and sort it for the (public) broadcaster. I must have been sick on the day that Pa picked me up from school early and let me put my head [...

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  • Jazz Poetry – ‘Woman, I got the Blues’ by Yusef Komunyakaa

    Woman, I Got the Blues I'm sporting a floppy existential sky-blue hat when we meet in the Museum of Modern Art. Later, we hold each other with a gentleness that would crack open ripe fruit. Then we slow-drag to Little Willie John, we bebop to Bird LPs, bloodfunk, lungs paraphrased till we break e...

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  • Jazz Poetry – ‘Jazz Fantasia’ by Carl Sandburg

    Jazz Fantasia Drum on your drums, batter on your banjoes, sob on the long cool winding saxophones. Go to it, O jazzmen. Sling your knuckles on the bottoms of the happy tin pans, let your trombones ooze, and go husha- husha-hush with the slippery sand-paper. Moan like an autumn wind high in the lo...

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  • Jazz Poetry – ‘Jazzonia’ by Langston Hughes

    Jazzonia Oh, silver tree! Oh, shining rivers of the soul! In a Harlem cabaret Six long-headed jazzers play. A dancing girl whose eyes are bold Lifts high a dress of silken gold. Oh, singing tree! Oh, shining rivers of the soul! Were Eve's eyes In the first garden Just a bit too bold? Was Cleopatr...

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  • Jazz Poetry

    Jazz poetry is a literary genre defined as poetry necessarily informed by jazz music—that is, poetry in which the poet responds to and writes about jazz. Jazz poetry, like the music itself, encompasses a variety of forms, rhythms, and sounds. Beginning with the birth of blues and jazz at the star...

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  • I’m Not Your Weekend Special

    Title – I’m Not Your Weekend Special Author – Bongani Madondo Publisher – Pan MacMillan South Africa (2014) Genre – Biography Review – “This is a fascinating collection on the life and times of Brenda Fassie, which includes a Foreword by Hugh Masekela and contributions from people who knew Brenda...

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  • Yakhal’inkomo: Portrait of a Jazz Classic

    Title – Yakhal’inkomo: Portrait of a Jazz Classic Author – Percy Mabundu Publisher – N/A Genre – Biography Review – “Yakhal'inkmo - Biography of a Jazz Classic is a book written by South African journalist, Percy Mabandu about Winston Mankunku Ngozi's 1968 jazz record. Part historical account, pa...

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  • Bitches’ Brew

    Title – Bitches’ Brew Author – Fred Khumalo Publisher – Jacana Media (2006) Genre – Fiction Review – “The novel is told in an epistolary form – as a series of letters between the two main characters, Zakes and Lettie. Through these letters we learn about their lives, their shared love, the circum...

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  • Still Grazing: The Musical Journey of Hugh Masekela

    Title – Still Grazing: The Musical Journey of Hugh Masekela Author – Hugh Masekela & D. Michael Cheers Publisher – Crown Publishing Group (2004) Genre – Biography and autobiography Review  – “Hugh Masekela is a giant of jazz and a pioneer in bringing the voice and spirit of Africa to the West...

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  • The Ultimate Jazzuary Syllabus

    Still Grazing, the Musical Journey of Hugh Masekela This autobiography chronicles the life story of the jazz giant from his life in South Africa to his adventures in the United States. It gives details of Masekela surviving life under Apartheid and introducing African music to Americans with Miri...

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