South African musician Johnny Clegg - often referred to as the "white Zulu" - will perform with his band at the Cedar Cultural Center this Thursday.
Johnny Clegg dances on stage with his longtime backup singer Mandisa Dlanga, with whom he has worked for 26 years.
Image courtesy of Appleseed Recordings
Known for taking a stance against apartheid with the mixed-race band Juluka, but as Euan Kerr reports, today's more peaceful political climate still inspires Clegg's craft:
The age of apartheid is over. But Clegg says South Africa faces the struggles common for any young democracy. It's all fodder for new music.
"I just feel that I am still learning," he said. "I am seeing stuff that I thought would never happen."
Clegg says he's not as driven as he once was to react daily to what he sees around him. But he still writes regularly after what he calls a more gentle process.
"Finding common threads of culture, common threads of humanity, common threads of melody, common threads of rhythmic polyphony," he said, "those are things that have always intrigued me."
You can read the full story here. Or listen to it by clicking on the link below.
Every now and again MPR's Chris Roberts sits down with a local musician or band to find out more about one of their songs. The occasional series is called "Into the Song."
For his latest installment, Roberts interviewed the band members of Now Now about their song "Thread."
"Find a thread to pull," Dalager sings forlornly in the first verse, "and we can watch it unravel."
"A hint of light in the dark," she continues in the chorus, "but only enough to keep from giving up. If I could go back to the start, to break the pattern forming between us."
It sounds like someone at the beginning of a slow, agonizing end to a relationship. But for Dalager, "Thread" is about striving for something that is painfully out of reach. She wrote it when the members of Now Now decided to commit their lives completely to music, in the face of an unknown future.
"That's just kind of how I felt about everything in my life at that point," she said. " 'Cause we were writing this record not knowing what was going on pretty much with anything."
You can find out more about the song "Thread" and the band Now Now here.