Posts Tagged ‘Duke Ellington’

1915 – IT WAS A VERY GOOD YEAR!

01/12/2015

elling stray sina

On CONNECTED 2 JAZZ, Nigel Vermaas’s Bush Radio 89.5FM show on Tuesday nights in December, he will be marking the centenaries of two music giants: Billy Strayhorn (born 29 November 1915) and Frank Sinatra (born 12 December 1915) Earlier this year CONNECTED 2 JAZZ marked the centenary of another great artist’s birth, Billie Holiday (born 7 April 1915)

Whereas the swaggering Sinatra, whose Hoboken roots never really left him, has been a household name for nearly 80 years, as famous for his love life, punch-ups and gangster connections as he was for his singing and acting talents, the refined Strayhorn is virtually unknown outside the jazz community.

Billy_Strayhorn,_Billy Strayhorn by William P. Gottlieb

Billy Strayhorn, who lived most of his working life in the shadow of Duke Ellington, was the writer and co-writer of many of the Ellington Orchestra’s most famous compositions, notably TAKE THE ‘A’ TRAIN. A discreetly but openly gay black man in a time when many opted for the closet, Strayhorn (‘Swee’pea’, as Duke called him) was also a brilliant orchestrater. The combination of the more flamboyant Ellington with the retiring Strayhorn produced some of the greatest works in jazz.

CONNECTED 2 JAZZ will honour Strayhorn on Tuesday 1 December from 8-10 p.m. on Bush Radio 89.5fm / http://www.bushradio.co.za

Frank_Sinatra_'57

Frank Sinatra – arguably the greatest male singer in the history of popular music – may not have been a jazz vocalist as such but he certainly identified with jazz artists (particularly Billie Holiday and Tony Bennett) and used many jazz instrumentalists on his recordings and live gigs; and most jazz singers admire Sinatra.

CONNECTED 2 JAZZ pays tribute to the “Chairman of the Board’ on Tuesday 15 December from 8-10 p.m. on Bush Radio 89.5fm / http://www.bushradio.co.za

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Nobody broke my heart, you know why? It’s already broken. – Sathima Bea Benjamin (1936 – 2013)

21/08/2013
Sathima Bea Benjamin (17 October 1936 – 20 August 2013)

Sathima Bea Benjamin (17 October 1936 – 20 August 2013)

All of us at Bush Radio would like to share our condolences with all the family, friends and fans of Sathima Bea Benjamin who passed away yesterday. South African jazz singer and wife of pianist Abdullah Ibrahim, Sathima Bea Benjamin has died at the age of 76. Sathima was born in Johannesburg and raised in Cape Town.In the 1960’s Sathima and husband Abdullah Ibrahim moved between Europe and New York.

Trailer to the 2010 documentary on Sathima: “Sathima’s Windsong”

In 1979, she launched her own record label, Ekapa, primarily to produce and distribute her music. Between 1979 and 2002, she released eight albums: ‘Sathima Sings Ellington’, ‘Dedications’, ‘Memories and Dreams’, ‘Windsong’, ‘Lovelight’, ‘Southern Touch’, ‘Cape Town Love’, and ‘Musical Echoes’.

Jazz Specialist and Bush Radio presenter Nigel Vermaas said Sathima was one of the icons of South African Jazz, however she wasn’t that recognised in this country because she spent most of her career in the United States where she was highly valued.

Sathima and Bush Radio volunteer, Ronnie Green enjoying a laugh and a cup of tea at the station

Sathima and Bush Radio volunteer, Ronnie Green enjoying a laugh and a cup of tea at the station

In October 2004, South African president Thabo Mbeki bestowed upon her the Order of Ikhamanga Silver Award in recognition for her excellent contribution as a jazz artist in South Africa and internationally, as well as for her contribution to the struggle against apartheid.  This year she received the Lifetime achievement award at the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz.

Jazz educator and musician, Paul Sedres said Sathima was able, through her music, to represent a big sector of our population and the ideals that we wanted in terms of our social change during the apartheid era.

Sathima Bea Benjamin and Abdullah Ibrahim had two children Tsakwe and Tsidi (hip-hop artist Jean Grae).

Editor of the South African Association for Jazz Education, Diane Rossi said one of the highlights was when Sathima graced the Crypt Jazz restaurant stage on International Jazz Day this year, and in the audience were her family and fans.

Rossi added that Sathima has gone far too soon.

Listen to Sathima sing (via sathimabeabenjamin.com):

* Loveless Love/Careless Love from SongSpirit

** If You Were the Only Boy in the World from Cape Town Love


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