The Liberation Concert

Press Release

23 April 2018

Sounds of Resistance: The Liberation Concert to Celebrate Mandela’s Legacy with Song during Africa Month

Few, if any, of the towering figures of the 20th century have inspired as many people, or as many songs, as Nelson Mandela did in his lifetime.

On what would have been his centennial birthday, it is worth pausing to consider not only the legacy and achievements of former South African president Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, but also on the rich musical associations in his life.

Laudable in his deeds, Madiba has long served as both cause and muse for many in the music community. Dating back to the 60’s, when he was a political prisoner, right up to the fall of apartheid, he remains among the world’s most admired people, to date his name still prompting many a concert, songs and poems.

One such feat is The Liberation Project, a unique collaboration by a group of seasoned musicians from South Africa, Italy and Cuba who have come together to celebrate through song, liberation struggles from various parts of the world. With the main focus being on a re imagining of protest music from Cuba, Italy and South Africa, the concert also coincides with the launch of an international collaborative album ‘Songs That Made Us Free’ produced by Neill Solomon, Dan Chiorboli and guitarist Phil Manzanera of Roxy Music fame .

To be held at the Joburg Theatre on May 25, The Liberation Concert will for the first time see a fully fledged South African cultural production involve artists from across the world in a once-off and unique performance, curated especially for Africa Month featuring a line-up of artists such as the Grammy award winning Juan de Marcos – architect of the Buena Vista Social Club, Mamelodi’s ‘The Voice’ Vusi Mahlasela, master kora player N’Faly Kouyate, Italian jazz singer Rossella Graziani, vocalist and percussionist Cyril Neville from New Orleans’ legendary Neville Brothers, guitarist and producer Phil Manzanera of Roxy Music and Pink Floyd fame. Rapper Stilo Magolide whose lyricism and bars capture modern South African life also adds to the bill alongside composer Ernie Smith, singer Pu2ma Tiso and the SAMA nominated jazz vocalist Zoe Modiga.

Hosted by The Liberation Project as the house band, the concert will also celebrate the lives and music of Ray Phiri and Hugh Masekela who used their voices to campaign against apartheid, thus playing significant roles towards the struggle for freedom in South Africa. Masekela’s ‘Soweto Blues’ and Phiri’s ‘Brothers in Freedom’ can also be found on the record, the latter to which Bra Ray’s vocal and guitar work can be heard, which he had contributed a few weeks before he passed.

Workshops prior to the concert around Johannesburg will also be conducted by these acclaimed musicians in a bid to impart that skill and share knowledge with the young.

The Liberation Project Band is made up of Giuseppe Cotumaccio (MD, Keyboards & Vocals), Neill Solomon (Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, and Piano), Tebogo Sedumedi (Vocals & Bass), Dan Chiorboli (Percussion), Peter Djamba (Drums), Tony Cedras (Accordion, Trumpet& Piano), Keeran Eshwarlall (Sufi Vocals, Harmonium &BulBul Tarang), Zoe Modiga (Vocals) & Pu2ma Tiso (Vocals) as well as a horn section led by Dan Selsick. Ernie Smith appears as a special guest on guitar.

The Liberation Concert is conceptualised & produced by The Joburg Theatre, The National Arts Council and The Department of Arts & Culture together with Roshnie Moonsamy & Dan Chiorboli.

For media queries and interview requests please email media@jtcomms.co.za or contact 011 788 7632.

Issued by JT Communication Solutions on behalf of The Liberation Project

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