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Saturday, July 20, 2019

KANGAROO DANCERS SEEK HELP TO PERFORM IN UK


The Kangaroo Dancers, winners of 2018 uShaka Marine World Zulu Dance champs, urgently need a sponsor to help them take part in the Edinburgh International Festival which takes place from August 2 to 26, 2019.

The eight member group, which only received word a short while ago that it had been accepted to perform in this prestigious international event, face a unique financial challenge after their sponsorship manager passed away recently. Although all have received their visas to travel to Scotland, they have so far been unable to raise sufficient funds to cover their flights and accommodation.

The Edinburgh International Festival presents breathtaking performances from some of the top professionals in the world of the performing arts. The event takes place in six major theatres and concert halls as well as many smaller and often unconventional venues.

The Kangaroo Dancers are a special group of performers who specialise in various local dance forms including Zulu dance (Indlamu), Gumboot Dance, Ushameni Dance, Isikhuza Dance, uMzansi Dance, Panstulla Dance as well as Tswana. The group was created to get young people off the streets while, at the same time, providing them with a platform to learn about their culture as well as the various dances.

Those who are able to assist can contact Vumani, the group’s manager, on 076 279 5427.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

JOHNNY CLEGG TRIBUTE ON CARTE BLANCHE‎


Carte Blanche pays tribute to legendary musician, songwriter and activist Johnny Clegg on M-Net & M-Net HD (Channel 101) on Sunday, July 21, 2019, at 19h00 and again on M-Net Plus 1 (Channel 901 at 20h00.

Best known for some of his iconic hits such as Impi and Asimbonanga – a song paying homage to Nelson Mandela and other struggle stalwarts of his time – the man fondly known as the ‘White Zulu’ succumbed to pancreatic cancer earlier this week. As South Africa mourns the passing of yet another musical giant, we remember a man who embraced, comforted and fought for his compatriots, during a time in this country when it was dangerous to do so.

The tribute is produced by Diana Lucas and presented by Claire Mawisa.

DEATH OF ANTON LASICH


(Anton Lasich)

One of Durban’s strongest supporters of the arts, Anton Lasich, passed away at his home in Morningside on July 10, 2019.

He is probably best known for his publication, Durbs Magazine, which he started in April, 2010. The purpose of this highly informative on-line magazine was to promote theatre, performers, performances and events in Durban.

Lasich was educated at St Henry’s Marist College in Durban and Christian Brothers College in Kimberley before finishing his schooling at SACS in Cape Town where he earned himself a Matric exemption and entrance into the University of Stellenbosch.

He completed a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Anthropology, Sociology and Psychology in 1987. Following on from his degree, he completed his honours in Anthropology. He based his thesis for his Masters on a socio-economic study at Cross Roads in Cape Town.

Programming. IT, all thing computers and design remained a passion throughout Lasich’s life. In 2007, he started Designme and he was the former owner at Kwazulunatal dot com specialising in website design implementation. He was also the owner of Account Processors, focusing on preparing accounts for medical professionals. From April 2019 until his death, he was the co-owner at Banan Designs, Durban.

He thoroughly enjoyed and found his purpose in service to others which was a common thread throughout his life.

“Shortly after he launched Durbs Magazine on April 1 in 2010, Anton told me he wanted to carry the artSMart Events list on it. I was delighted because I knew this inclusion on Durbs Magazine - as well as any other website he had to support the arts - would give the Events List a much wider viewership. I pay tribute to his passion for the arts and his support of artSMart. It will be a strange and sad feeling each week not to email him with the updated Events List,” says artSMart owner/editor, Caroline Smart.

EMI’S RECORDING OF DON GIOVANNI ON YOUTUBE


Peerless classic up for grabs on YouTube. (Review by William Charlton-Perkins)

During the late 1960’s, as a student at Natal University in Pietermaritzburg, I’d haunt the university library, taking out back-copy bundles of Gramophone magazine, avidly seeking out reviews of opera recordings acquired since hitting the capital city from my home town in the Midlands.

Having recently had the life-changing experience of hearing Elisabeth Schwarzkopf performing a programme of Lieder in the Durban City Hall, I pounced on a 1960 review by the veteran critic, Philip Hope-Wallace of EMI’s recording of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, with Carlo Maria Giulini conducting an all-star cast.

Notwithstanding the virile title role assumption of the young Viennese baritone, Eberhard Wächter as Mozart’s defiant philanderer, and supremely accomplished contributions from Joan Sutherland (Donna Anna), Luigi Alva (Don Ottavio), Giuseppe Taddei (Leporello) and the deeply sonorous bass, Gottlob Frick as The Commentadore, Hope-Wallace proclaimed “the entire venture is dominated by Madame Schwarzkopf’s full-breasted Donna Elvira.” Indeed so, and the German superstar soprano’s peerless realisation of what is possibly Mozart’s most compassionate and beloved portrayal of human vulnerability, has remained the yardstick against which successive generations of Elvira’s have been measured.

(Right: Elisabeth Schwarzkopf)

From her impassioned entrance aria, “Ah, chi mi dice mai’, to her heart-rending singing in the glorious Act 2 trio, ‘A taci, ingiusto core!’ – in which Elvira is cruelly mocked by the Don and his henchman – Schwarzkopf is unforgettable, as she is in her tempestuous grand scena, ‘In quali eccessi, o Numi… Mì tradi quell’alma ingrata’, and in all other key moments of her role.

Since the seismic take-over of EMI by Warner Classics a decade or more back, the latter industry giant has been re-releasing EMI’s back catalogue in digitally remastered editions. The entire Maria Callas recorded oeuvre has been the beneficiary of this huge venture, as have those of many other great names in EMI’s hallowed hall of fame, not least Schwarzkopf herself.

While die-hard collectors may wish to explore Giulini’s sonically enhanced Don Giovanni via the portals of Amazon and other online retail outlets, YouTube Music is an ever-present public resource for the world at large to experience this classic treasure, absolutely complete, and free of charge!

Don’t hesitate. Log onto https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVPkfHD6b7E - William Charlton-Perkins

HAMBA KAHLE JOHNNY “WHITE ZULU” CLEGG


(Johnny Clegg receives the ACT Lifetime Achievement Award for Music. October 21 2016. Pictured: Former Acting Group CEO for SAMRO, Reverend Abe Sibiya, Johnny Clegg, Bronwen Harty – former ACT trustee and Rashid Lombard – ACT trustee.
Photograph: John Hogg/ ACT)

Johnny Clegg, the barrier-breaking music and culture figure dies at 66.

The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) is deeply saddened by the death of South African music and culture luminary Johnny Clegg, on Tuesday, after a four-year battle with pancreatic cancer.

He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2015 and is survived by his wife of 31 years, Jenny and their two sons Jesse and Jaron.

Clegg’s music career spans over three decades and he has sold more than five million albums worldwide. Besides being an incomparable figure in music, dance and culture, Clegg is also an anthropologist and is sometimes fondly referred to as Le Zoulou Blanc (The White Zulu). 

(Right: Johnny Clegg accepting his ACT Lifetime Achievement Award. Photograph: John Hogg/ ACT)

To many South Africans, Clegg’s music was the soundtrack for the new South Africa. His music represented freedom and a united South Africa.

His iconic status earned him numerous awards from various international and local bodies for his contribution to music such as the Order of Ikhamanga from the South African government in 2012 and the Knight of Arts and Letters by the French government in 1991. In 2016, Clegg was also honoured with the ACT Lifetime Achievement Award for music (sponsored by SAMRO) to celebrate his extraordinary career that contributed significantly to the enrichment of cultural life in South Africa.

Marcus Desando, ACT CEO states: “ACT is proud to have had the opportunity to honour Johnny Clegg and his contribution as a barrier-breaking cultural figure. Mr Clegg has had a profound and lasting impact on music, not only in South Africa but world-wide. The music industry in South Africa would not be what it is today without the dedication and fearlessness of Johnny Clegg and his music.”

The renowned music legend was born in Bacup England, in 1953, to an English father and Zimbabwean mother, a cabaret and jazz singer. He moved to South Africa with his mother at the age of seven, when his mother married a South African crime journalist. It is through his mother and stepfather, who took him to the townships, that Clegg was exposed to various cultural perspectives from an early age.

At age 14 Clegg met with Mntonganazo Mzila, who played street music near his home in Johannesburg, and he learnt Zulu language, maskandi guitar and Ihhlangwini (Zulu stick dancing). Following the meeting with Mzila, Clegg met with Sipho Mcunu, self-taught guitarist and they released their debut single Woza Friday in 1976.

In 1979, the duo became the Juluka we all know. In the same year, they released their critically acclaimed debut album Universal Men. The album paid homage to the migrant workers who left their homes to go work in the cities. The album did not receive any airplay due to the apartheid laws that prevailed at the time but did get positive traction amongst South Africans through word-and-mouth.

Their second album, African Litany, was released two years following the first album and featured Juluka’s well-known hit single Impi. The band gained international recognition two years later with their fourth album Scatterlings which catapulted the band onto the world stage.

Although Juluka eventually split in 1985, following the success of two platinum and five gold albums, Clegg and Mchunu remained friends. Clegg then formed his second band, Savuka, whose sound was a mix of African music with a wider music base and international rock sounds.

Savuka’s debut album, Third World Child in 1987 sold more than two million copies and broke international sales records in France, Switzerland and Belgium. The album featured the song Asimbonanga which became a struggle anthem as it was dedicated to former president, Nelson Mandela who was in jail at the time of release.

Heat, Dust & Dreams, Savuka’s fourth album was nominated for a Grammy in the Best World Music category and won the Billboard Music award for "Best World Music" album in 1993. Following the breakup of Savuka in 1993, Clegg joined with Mchunu to re-form Juluka and they recorded Ya Vuka Inkunzi (also released as Crocodile Love).

Clegg released several successful solo projects such as New World Survivor in 2002 and One Life in 2007. His latest album, a concert set recorded in the fall of 2013, Best, Live & Unplugged: At the Baxter Theatre Cape Town was released in 2014.

Andre Le Roux, Corporate Affairs Executive General Manager at Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) states that, “When the news of Johnny Clegg passing, hit me yesterday I found solace in the tribute from 50 top artists singing The Crossing for Johnny Clegg, and amongst them, Mum Dorothy Masuku, who is also an ACT Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and is now deceased. SAMRO is deeply saddened at the passing of one of our longest serving members. Johnny Clegg is undoubtedly an iconic and highly celebrated artist not just in our country, but world-wide. We are honoured to have been a small part of Mr Clegg's great legacy in music. Partnering with ACT in the sponsorship of the ACT Lifetime Achievement Awards of which Mr Clegg was the 2016 recipient, represents one of the many initiatives that demonstrates SAMRO's appreciation of great talent in the South African Music Industry. Mr Clegg is a huge loss to this country and may his music live on”.

For more information on ACT, visit act.org.za