Seattle (Washington), USA – The Pacific Jazz Institute at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley and 90.3 KEXP’s Best Ambiance present vocalist and guitarist Vusi Mahlasela , solo for two nights only June 27 – 28. Set times on Tuesday and Wednesday are at 7:30pm. Doors open at 6pm on Tuesday and 5:30pm on Wednesday. Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley is located at 2033 6th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121. Cost: $21.50
Vusi Sidney Mahlasela Ka Zwane was born in 1965 in Lady Selbourne, near Pretoria, where he still resides. Raised by his maternal grandmother, he began to teach himself to play on a homemade guitar, a remarkable instrument made of tin cans and fishing line.
Vusi can’t remember a time when he wasn’t singing and was a seasoned performer by the age of seventeen. He soon discovered that his flare for composition and began to write his own music and lyrics. From the outset, Vusi’s songs addressed themes of political and social significance, and so he found himself in demand at political rallies and cultural events.
After joining the Congress of South African Writers in 1988, Vusi developed a new level of confidence as poet and writer. He struck up a creative friendship with South African poet Lesego Rampolokeng at the same time he was falling under the spell of artists like
Miriam Makeba and Phillip Tabane. He was also exposed to the work of Victor Jara, whom Vusi acknowledges as a central influence on his own music and lyrics.
Vusi is featured in Amandla! A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony , the celebrated film about the importance of music and song in South Africa’s anti-apartheid struggle. After garnering two awards at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival, Amandla! was released to theaters across North America in February 2003 and earned tremendous critical acclaim. The Amandla! companion album, Amandla! soundtrack which spans forty years of South African music, was released on ATO Records and features four songs by Vusi. Also, Vusi’s music is featured in the recent Oscar-winning South African film Tsotsi (Best Foreign Language Film). Among his most ardent supporters is Dave Matthews, who is a native of South Africa and has long aimed
to make Vusi’s music known in the U.S. In 2000, he invited Vusi to contribute guest vocals on the title track of the Dave Matthews Band’s multi-platinum album Everyday. In 2002, ATO was approached by the producers of Amandla! and enthusiastically secured rights to release the soundtrack. Matthews released Vusi’s most recent album,
The Voice, on his ATO Records label in 2003.
For more information visit Vusi Mahlasela.
Author: World Music Central News Department
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