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Soweto Blues

Jazz and Politics in South Africa



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Soweto Blues: Jazz and Politics in South Africa by Gwen Ansell
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Illustrates the vibrant relationship between jazz and the antiapartheid movement in twentieth-century South Africa. A major new contribution to the study of African music, "Soweto Blues" tells the remarkable story of how jazz became a key part of South Africa's struggle in the 20th century, and provides a fascinating overview of the ongoing links between African and American styles of music. Ansell illustrates how jazz occupies a unique place in South African music. Through interviews with hundreds of musicians, she pieces together a vibrant narrative history, bringing to life the early politics of resistance, the atmosphere of illegal performance spaces, the global anti-apartheid influence of Hugh Masakela and Miriam Makeba, as well as the post-apartheid upheavals in the national broadcasting and recording industries. Featuring an introduction by Abdullah Ibrahim, "Soweto Blues" is a fitting tribute to the power of music to inspire optimism and self-expression in the darkest of times.

Table of Contents

Introduction; Chapter 1: Where it All Started; Chapter 2: New Sounds of the Cities; Chapter 3: Athens on the Reef; Chapter 4: The Land is Dead; Chapter 5: Underground in Africa; Chapter 6: Jazz for the Struggle, and the Struggle for Jazz; Chapter 7: Home Is Where the Music Is: South African Jazz Abroad; Chapter 8: The 1990s and Beyond: Not Yet Uhuru; Appendix: Interviewees and Recordings; Glossary; Bibliography; Index.

Author Biography

Gwen Ansell is Director of the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism in South Africa. She wrote and produced Ubuyile: Jazz Coming Home, an 8-part radio broadcast in South Africa in 2001.
Release date NZ
November 30th, 2005
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
New edition
30 (b&w) illustrations
Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd.
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