Sticking it to the (wo)man:the Blackroots Marimbas Ensemble

September 2016

I met the Blackroots Marimbas through one of my UCT friends, Sky. If you remember, I posted an amazing video of her playing mbira in one of my past blog posts. Sky’s love for African music started when she used to play marimba in church. She then started playing with one of Cape Town’s largest bands for a while, but she thought that there had to be more than just playing for someone else. She wanted to play for herself. Continue reading Sticking it to the (wo)man:the Blackroots Marimbas Ensemble

Conscious Rhythm with Nidhi

September 2016

I didn’t really come to South Africa with any plan about who I was going to study. I had one vague idea of an ensemble, but they never answered my five emails over the past year. Looking back on it, it was a blessing in disguise to basically be dropped off in an unknown place, and learn how to meet people and build relationships out of thin air. I wrote some emails to UCT, asked a couple of bars where the live music scene is and attended some shows, and checked Facebook events near me. That’s how I met Nidhi. Continue reading Conscious Rhythm with Nidhi

“Do you know Dr. Dre?” And other questions from South African primary school kids….oh, and them performing.

September 2016

Michelle took me to the Cavalleria Primary School in Kraiifontain today. Every Thursday, she teaches around 60 kids traditional African drumming and marimba. It takes about 30 minutes to get the school. Theres a drug house right across the street from the main entrance. Michelle said she’s seen one of the older students from the secondary school not far down the road get shot and killed by another student. Some of the students’ shoes are worn and their toes are exposed. Many wear clothes that do not fit them. One girl I met has AIDS. Another little girl was shot in the leg by a drive-by when she was out to buy bread. But nothing compares to how happy these kids get when they see Michelle coming for weekly rehearsal. Continue reading “Do you know Dr. Dre?” And other questions from South African primary school kids….oh, and them performing.