Thursday, August 09, 2007

the power of music

the title of the linked article says it all:

"Music is too subversive for the new South Africa, says apartheid hero"

the article continues:

"One of South Africa’s greatest musicians — a hero of the struggle against apartheid — believes that he is no longer welcome as a performer in his own country.

The virtuoso trumpeter Hugh Masekela claims that many of the talented musicians whose voices became symbols of protest against white domination are finding it hard to get bookings in South Africa because the ruling ANC is “terrified” of music as an agent of change."

and is worth reading the entire thing. hugh is a visionary, and continues to really be involved in social change as well as music. some of the guys i hung with in soweto who are doing hip-hop have told me about hugh meeting with them, passing them music, and giving them free rein to remix, sample, cut it up and more. i think hugh's comments are probably too true for much of the world. certainly us politicians don't love political music, and as you may have seen in our documentary "African Underground: Democracy in Dakar", the politicians in Senegal are actively involved in oppressing musicians that don't tow the line.

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