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Gwen Ansell

Afr(Ind)ian Fiction: Reckoning with belonging

A collaboration featuring Dhruv Sodha, Shailesh Pillay, Muhammad Dawjee and Othnell Mangoma Moyo has lifted up the musicians’ individuality

Harari: a union of music, defiant politics and African pride

Two pivotal Harari re-releases shine new light on the Soweto Soul movement. Gwen Ansell writes about the ‘Rufaro/ Happiness album’

The Happenstance at the House on the Hill

During the grind of lockdown, musicians exchanged notes on modes of creating through the barrier

Brass, class, steel and sorrow: Jonas Gwangwa cut close to the bone

The trombonist’s music-making was inextricably tied up with South Africa’s struggle for freedom

Jonas Gwangwa embodied South Africa’s struggle for a national culture

Gwangwa’s love for the struggle was genuine and deep, never cosmetic – and he couldn’t have written an unattractive tune if he tried

Violet Gwangwa: Natural class, nurturing brass

A builder of networks and a tactical freedom fighter, Violet Molebatsi Gwangwa nurtured not only the liberation movement, but also the creative spirit within her family

The year the music died — almost

Half of the participants in a recent study on the live music industry are likely to quit their craft

Myesha Jenkins: A sister who always said it with feeling

Poet and activist Myesha Jenkins (1948-2020) took her craft, including her teaching, extremely seriously

A place called home: Jazz and the new normal at the National Arts Festival

Several jazz offerings at the virtual festival focus on journeys and identity

Dialectic Soul: Rhythms of reason for revolutionary music

Drummer Asher Gamedze’s approach to making music is through a collective process bringing together not only each band member’s response to ideas but also their skills

Billy Monama: stringing together South African guitar history

The guitarist’s book, Introduction to South African Guitar Style: Volume One is due to be published at the end of the year

Vuma Levin initiates his cycle

The guitarist is growing into his groove, with a new concept album launching soon

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