Audio

Audio: Somi Releases "Live at Jazz Standard" (Album Preview)


Our fellow Brooklyninte, Somi, who was born to parents from Rwanda and Uganda, debuts her first live album, Live at Jazz Standard, a ten-track collection of new African soul and jazz which was taped over two nights (live, obvs) at the Jazz Standard in New York City. (The house was sold out both nights, by the way.) The compilation, which includes original tracks done in English and three different East African languages, also pays tribute to musicians like Bob Marley and Abbey Lincoln with soulful covers of “Waiting in Vain” and “Should’ve Been.” Like any good live album, this effort takes you to the front row of a Somi show – capturing the passion, grace, and strength of her performance.  Check it out for yourself, in stores and online.  For more on Somi, check out the Revivalist's feature story.

Listen to the Live at Jazz Standard album preview:

Wallflower Blues by somimusic

 

Music
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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