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Saturday, November 5, 2011


(Sharon Katz and Abigail Kubeka)

Discovered by Miriam Makeba when she was just 16, the now-legendary Abigail Kubeka makes her US debut this year to launch Double Take, a new CD just recorded in South Africa with Sharon Katz & The Peace Train. Their current fall 2011 tour includes stops across New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Washington, DC.

Soul-sisters Abigail and Sharon both grew up in South Africa under the old apartheid regime and had to hide from the police to perform their music, but Double Take shows how powerful voices can never be silenced.

“The songs go far beyond questioning the stories we’re told to believe; they make you want to dance, laugh, cry, shout, and hug somebody,” says Sharon Katz.

As a teenager, Abigail joined Miriam Makeba’s group, The Skylarks. When the police raided a club looking for black people who were violating apartheid’s unjust laws, Abigail and her bandmates had to pretend to be working in the kitchen. She later went on to perform throughout Africa, Europe and Asia; share the stage with Sarah Vaughn and Eartha Kitt; and sing for Queen Elizabeth II when she visited President Mandela. Abigail is also an accomplished actress who has starred on TV as well as the West End in London.

Sharon’s multicultural performing group broke apartheid’s barriers and made history in 1993 when they toured throughout South Africa aboard a train – The Peace Train – to promote Mandela’s vision of a non-racial democracy. When CNN filmed Sharon jumping out of a helicopter with her guitar in a remote area, to teach the rural people about the voting process through song, Sharon Katz & The Peace Train were propelled into an international career that has spanned three continents and coast-to-coast US appearances.

The Double Take tour includes concerts, workshops, lectures, cultural collaborations, and opportunities for conversations with these talented earth-shakers. Their school and university programs combine interactive entertainment with diversity education that is adaptable for many disciplines including social studies, bullying, music, language arts, leadership, entrepreneurship, political science and international studies. Cultural collaborations are their specialty and can involve local churches, community choirs or college bands.

“I am so delighted to have Abigail with me here on tour!” says Sharon. “In the week after she arrived on October 18, we performed four standing-room only concerts in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York States including teaching a class and performing at one of the prestigious colleges, Wheaton College, in Massachusetts near Boston.

"Abigail Kubeka is a tremendous force to be reckoned with. I consider her the Mama Africa of today,” Sharon continues. “She is charismatic, charming and she stuns the audience with her gorgeous voice, her warm character and her descriptive stories. She's taking America by storm and I'm honoured to be introducing her here!"

With many of the remaining concerts already sold out, the tour will close on November 14.

Sharon Katz & The Peace Train also use proceeds from their appearances for their humanitarian work in under-developed areas of South Africa and around the world including music therapy with orphans and communities affected by HIV/AIDS; feeding programs in impoverished areas; conflict resolution work in violence-torn regions; and building schools and community arts centres.

For more information, email or visit