10 African songs for International Jazz Day


Africa’s interest in and bond with jazz music is significant, and it has resulted in numerous outstanding works through collaborations between jazz and traditional musicians at national, continental and international level.

To celebrate International Jazz Day in Africa, we have curated a playlist of jazz pioneers and contemporary musicians who have successfully taken on the genre and defined a sound for the rest of the world to follow.

Yakhal’inkomo by Sibongile Khumalo

The song was released as part of Sibongile Khumalo’s The Essential album in 2017.

Never (Lagos Never Gonna Be The Same) by Tony Allen and Hugh Masekela

Recorded in 2010, the song is by legends Hugh Masekela and Tony Allen. It was part of the duo’s 2020 album Rejoice. Sadly, Masekela had passed away two years before the release of the album.

The Coming of the Strange Ones by Shabaka and the Ancestors

We Are Sent Here By History is arguably one of the most important jazz albums of 2020 involving African musicians, and the selected track here features an whirling conversation between the brass instruments.

Yekermo Sew by Mulatu Astatke

‘Yekermo Sew’, which translates to ‘a man of experience and wisdom’ is one Mulatu Astakte’s signature pieces. The featured track is off the Ethiopiques, Vol. 4: Ethio Jazz 1969-1974 album.

Morwa by Jonas Gwangwa

Morwa was released in 2007 on the Collection album and is a great example of South African jazz.

Soul Makossa by Manu Dibango

This 1972 single is regarded as one of the first disco records, but its jazz/fusion infuneces are undeniable. ‘Soul Makossa’ is off the late Manu Dibango’s Soul Makossa & Lily album.

Muthurwa by the Nairobi Horns Project

The song is part of the band’s debut album Black in Gold, which was released in 2019.

Baleka by Nono Nkoane

The song is off Nono Nkoane’s 2015 album True Call. In the song, she is reminds the listener of her idol, the late Miriam Makeba.

Grazing in the Grass by Hugh Masekela

The instrumental single was released in 1968. Following its release, the song landed at No 1 on the US pop charts and sold more than 4 million copies. It it off his studio albumThe Promise of a Future.

Somandla by Mandisi Dyantyis

‘Somandla’ is also the title of the artist’s latest album released in 2018. The music video was shot and edited by David Stone.

Source: By Lucy Ilado-www.musicinafrica.net


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