South African trumpet and vocal superstar Hugh Masekela will headline the inaugural Alternate Routes Cheza! Festival of African Music at New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) on February 24-25. An Afropop Dance Party featuring Sean Barlow (aka DJ Prince Segue Segue) spinning sounds from across the African continent kicks off the festival.
Hugh Masekela will bring his mix of jazz and pop to R&B, disco and Afro-Pop to the Arts Center’s intimate Victoria Theater. The festival begins on Friday, February 24 at 7:30pm when DJ Prince Segue Segue (aka Sean Barlow), the creator of the nationally syndicated radio program Afropop Worldwide, spins old-school Afro-Pop—rumba, soukous, salsa, samba, Afrobeat, chimurenga, juju, Manding swing and mbalax—as well as some of the new generation of dance favorites like coupé décolé, kuduro, baile funk.
About the Artists:
Hugh Masekela first picked up the trumpet in 1954. His music reflects his upbringing as a boy in Witbank, South Africa combined with his interest in the sounds created by African America musical pioneers such as Duke Ellington, Horace Silver, Ma Rainey and many others. Masekela was inspired to hone his trumpeting talent by Kirk Douglas’ portrayal of American jazz trumpeter Bix Beiderbeck in the film “Young Man With A Horn.”
After leaving South Africa during Apartheid, Masekela, with help from Miriam Makeba and Harry Belafonte, began recording. Masekela has performed across the world, toured with Paul Simon, conceived a Broadway Musical (“Sarafina”), created the Botswana International School of Music, and has recorded dozens of albums.
At the end of January, Masekela released Jubulani, his new CD, as part of the Listen 2 Africa Series from Listen 2 Entertainment Group. Sometimes wise, sometimes comical, oftentimes both, the 11-song set includes many traditional songs that date back several generations in South African wedding tradition.
DJ Prince Segue Segue (Sean Barlow) is the creator and producer of public radio’s “Afropop Worldwide,” the first nationally syndicated program in the United States devoted to world music, and www.afropop.org. Hosted by Georges Collinet from Cameroon, the program reaches listeners throughout the US, Africa and Europe. He consults for numerous festivals, educators, film-makers, and venues.
Cheza! Festival of African Music
February 24, 2012 at 7:30pm
February 25, 2012 at 7:30pm
New Jersey Performing Arts Center
1 Center Street, Newark, NJ 07102
Tickets are $48 and $58 for Masekela and $16 for the dance party, and are available by telephone at 1-888-466-5722, at the NJPAC Box Office at One Center Street in downtown Newark, and at www.njpac.org. To purchase tickets for groups of 10 or more, call 973-297-5804. The festival is made possible in part by American Express and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.