The liner notes of the Rough Guide to South African jazz opens with the line “South African jazz is a pertinent reminder of the intrinsic link between music and the dismantling of oppression”. Buckle up! We’re in for a deep dive into the interplay of politics, activism, transcendence and oppression as we take a look back at the revolutionary history of South African Jazz under apartheid.
1. I took a lot of inspiration from this AfroPop Worldwide interview with Matt Temple, who runs Matsuli Music, a boutique record label which specializes in vinyl reissues of rare and classic South African Afro-jazz albums. I also really enjoyed this history of the label As-Shams, South Africa’s pioneering jazz imprint.