The Ultimate Jazzuary Syllabus

  1. 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 Miriam Makeba; all the while wielding what he called ‘his personal choice of weapon’, his trumpet. An inspiring read.

  1. Keeping Time: Readings in Jazz History, 2nd edition

Featuring work from the likes of Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong this book is bound to give the reader an all rounded view of the history of jazz. It is a compilation of reviews, program notes, interviews, memoirs and journalistic articles. For anyone who has a true love for jazz music and longs for an in depth, intelligent discussion on the genre and its many guises and uses, this is a must read.

  1. Pops, A Life of Louis Armstrong

Narrated by Wall Street Journal critic, Terry Teachout, this book gives readers a peak into the person Louis Armstrong was on and off stage. The critic has drawn on recordings made by Louis Armstrong and other inside information to create an interesting account of the Wonderful World legend’s life.

  1. Musical Echoes: South African Women Thinking in Jazz

Sathima Bea Benjamin was a jazz singer born in Cape Town and inspired by the American jazz she heard on the radio and saw on television. Inspired by the late Billie Holiday she went on to create her own style of jazz music. In the 1960’s, she moved to Europe with her husband Abdullah ‘Dollar Brand’ Ibrahim and together they recorded music that put them on a world stage. Her life story, as told by musicologist, Carol Ann Muller, will give the reader a little insight on the impact this woman had on jazz history.

  1. Makeba: My Story

This autobiography, although not as in-depth as one would expect, sheds some light on the life of Mama Africa as she was affectionately known. Always the activist, Makeba was exiled from South Africa and later become a rebel by association in America for being married to a Black Panther member, Stokley Carmichael. Her roller coaster life is laid bare in this book, leaving the reader touched and amazed at the strength of this woman who rose from the life of a domestic worker to become an international African Jazz legend.

One Comment

  1. Sipho Lukhele says:

    This is just wonderful. Thank you Kaya FM #HomeOfTheAfropolitan

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