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South African Jazz Night: ft. the compositions of Caiphus Semenya

Adam Glasser ( piano/harmonica)

Chris Batchelor ( tpt), Steve Buckley ( alto sax)

Alam Nathoo ( tenor sax)

Steve Watts ( bass)

Tim Giles ( drums).

One of the first wave of  major jazz artists to leave South Africa  in the early 60s, vocalist, composer, saxophonist  Caiphus Semenya  – who turns 80 in August this year! – settled in the United States where he achieved considerable success as a musical director,  composing for films and sessions  and working with many great artists including Cannonball Adderley, Lou Rawls, Nina Simone and Quincy Jones.
For all  his success (which  includes the long history of collaboration with the hugely talented vocalist Letta Mbulu to whom he has been married since the early 60s ) many  Caiphus Semenya  compositions have yet to achieve their deserved full  recognition as South African jazz standards though ‘Nomali’ or ‘Angel Nemali’ as Dudu Pukwana rechristened is perhaps the best known.
While in the US, Caiphus collaborated with fellow South African exiles Hugh Masekela and Jonas Gwangwa to record the landmark album ‘The Union of South Africa’ to which he contributed key compositions.  Tonight’s concert will include  lesser known songs from this album as well as selections from Hugh Masekela’s incomparable 1972 album ‘Home is Where the Music Is’ another milestone in the history of South African jazz   produced by  Caiphus Semenya in London.

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