Stream Bajah + The Dry Eye Crew's New Single, 'Any Girl'

Sierra Leonean 3-piece Bajah + the Dry Eye Crew share "Any Girl"

Check out “Any Girl” from Sierra Leonean 3-piece Bajah + the Dry Eye Crew today on The song, off their self-titled debut album due out in Spring 2011 via One Haven Music/Modiba Productions, is a bubbling, vibrant track with an infectious hook and a tropical reggae vibe. Also, watch out for Bajah + The Dry Eye Crew at the Okayplayer Holiday Jam (deets coming soon!) before they head back to their native Salone for a sold-out headlining Christmas show at the 50,000-person National Stadium. Stateside, Bajah, A-Klazz, and Dovy Dovy have been steadily winning over NYC audiences with their unique sound, known as Gbomognoh (pronounced bo-mo-no), and their signature fusion of funk, hip-hop, dancehall and reggae.

Download "Any Girl" by clicking here.

Any Girl

Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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