Carnegie Hall’s UBUNTU programming will feature performances by legendary artists including trumpeter, vocalist, and composer Hugh Masekela performing with vocalist Vusi Mahlasela, renowned vocal ensemble Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Grammy Award-winning vocalist Angélique Kidjo in a tribute to the Miriam Makeba, revered pianist and composer Abdullah Ibrahim, and an evening of short films by acclaimed South African visual artist William Kentridge with live musical accompaniment. The festival will also showcase forms of South African music that may be lesser known, including the powerful spirituality and ecstasy of maskandi music of the Zulu people, music from the emerging young generation of Cape jazz performers, as well as the music of the Xhosa people and of other Southern African traditions, and the country’s unique Cape Malay choral singing that blends Dutch folksongs with beautifully ornamented vocal traditions from as far afield as Malaysia, Arabia, and East Africa.
Other world music highlights in the coming season include a performance by renowned classical tabla player Zakir Hussain who returns to Carnegie Hall with his new project, Celtic Connections; a concert by Italian folk singer Lucilla Galeazzi; In the Footsteps of Babur, a celebration of the 16th century Mughal court and its music that brings together musicians from Afghanistan, India, and Tajikistan; and a performance by Grammy Award-winning flamenco singer Diego el Cigala that combines bolero, Cuban jazz, and tango.
Jazz highlights this season include performances by the dynamic drummer and composer Brian Blade leading his all-star ensemble The Fellowship Band; a rare duo concert with piano masters Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock; Colombian harpist Edmar Castañeda who taps into musical influences from his native Colombia as well as musical traditions from Venezuela and Argentina; and Ryan Truesdell’s Gil Evans Project performs long lost big band masterpieces by celebrated composer-arranger Gil Evans.
Pop highlights include a performance by six-time Tony Award-winning actress Audra McDonald; and the return of both the WFUV Live at Zankel series presented by Carnegie Hall in partnership with WFUV 90.7 FM (dates and artists to be announced) and the three-concert Standard Time series with Michael Feinstein. Additionally, The New York Pops with Music Director Steven Reineke launches its season with a program featuring a cappella ensemble Rajaton in a program titled All You Need Is Love, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ arrival in America and 1964 Carnegie Hall debut, and the Pops continues with programs featuring Kelli O’Hara, Matthew Morrison, Tony DeSare, Storm Large, Frankie Moreno, and Ryan Silverman, among others.
Single tickets for Carnegie Hall presentations go on sale Monday, August 25 at 8:00 a.m. (with an early on-sale date of Monday, August 18 at 8:00 a.m. for subscribers and donors). Tickets can be purchased at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, by phone at CarnegieCharge (212-247-7800), or online at carnegiehall.org. Subscription packages are currently available.
If you need further information related to these or any other Carnegie Hall presentations, please don’t hesitate to contact us. For select images, please click here. We look forward to seeing you at the Hall in a few short months!
All performances take place in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage unless otherwise noted.
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This fall, Carnegie Hall launches UBUNTU: Music and Arts of South Africa, a three-week festival from October 10 to November 5, 2014, featuring an exciting array of events to be presented at Carnegie Hall and partner venues throughout New York City, inviting audiences to explore the incredibly dynamic and diverse culture of South Africa. Roughly translated as “I am because you are,” ubuntu is a philosophy from Southern Africa that emphasizes the importance of community, a way of thinking that has influenced recent moves toward reconciliation and cultural inclusion in South Africa as fostered by South Africa’s former president, the late Nelson Mandela. The spirit of this philosophy is embodied in the festival’s programming, which features a varied lineup of artists representing the many threads that together make up the country’s musical culture. Highlights from the festival at Carnegie Hall this fall include:
- On October 10, one of South Africa’s true ambassadors of freedom and musical icons—legendary trumpeter, vocalist, and composer Hugh Masekela kicks off Carnegie Hall’s UBUNTU: Music and Arts of South Africa festival with Twenty Years of Freedom, a program that also features the great South African singer Vusi Mahlasela, known as “The Voice” in South Africa. Masekela and Mahlasela are joined by guest artists to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of democracy and free elections in South Africa with a program of stirring freedom songs.
- Two masters from South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province headline in Zankel Hall on October 11 in a double bill that showcases two aspects of contemporary Zulu maskandi music, often dubbed the “Zulu blues.” Madala Kunene and his quintet draw on the spiritual aspects of the style, while Phuzekhemisi performs exuberant, high-energy music with singers and dancers in traditional attire.
- Renowned pianist and composer Abdullah Ibrahim—often hailed as the greatest exponent of Cape jazz—returns to Zankel Hall for a solo concert that coincides with his 80th birthday on October 17.
- World-renowned vocal ensemble Ladysmith Black Mambazo showcases the vibrant styles and influences of South African music in a performance in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage on October 18 that features special guest artists and a band from the group’s homeland. The group also performs a Carnegie Hall Family Concert in Zankel Hall on October 19.
- Folk music from South Africa’s Cape region is explored by two groups in a double bill concert in Zankel Hall on October 25. First, guitarist, singer-songwriter, and tireless champion of Cape musical traditions, David Kramer, is joined in performance by folk musicians from the remote regions of the Karoo desert. Also featured is a performance by Young Stars: Traditional Cape Malay Singers—a 15-voice male choir led by Moeniel Jacobs—performs vocal music from Cape Town that combines Dutch folk songs with beautifully ornamented vocal traditions from as far afield as Malaysia, Arabia, and East Africa.
- Paper Music: A Ciné Concert, in Zankel Hall on October 27, is the latest project in an ongoing collaboration between the Johannesburg-born visual artist William Kentridge and his South African compatriot Philip Miller. Their artistic partnership dates back to Kentridge’s 1993 film Felix in Exile, part of his celebrated Soho Eckstein series for which Miller wrote the score. Paper Music features a selection of 10 Kentridge films with live music by Miller, vocalists Joanna Dudley and Ann Masina, and pianist Idith Meshulam, including three that were presented at the dOCUMENTA (13) exhibition as part of The Refusal of Time installation.
- On October 28 in Zankel Hall, violinist Daniel Hope joins with his father, writer Christopher Hope, for a one-time-only musical theater production entitled A Distant Drum which tells the story of writer Nat Nakasa, a brilliant, impassioned spirit who left behind South Africa’s apartheid of the 1960s for New York. Noted authority on South African music Andrew Tracey serves as musical supervisor for this Carnegie Hall commission which features performances by cellist Vincent Segal, percussionist Jason Marsalis, and actors Atandwa Kani and Christiaan Schoombie. Jerry Mofokeng directs the production.
- On October 30 in Zankel Hall, South African drummer and composer Kesivan Naidoo—widely regarded as a leader in the next wave of Cape jazz performers—leads his high-energy quintet Kesivan and the Lights in an evening that seamlessly moves between standards, originals, and avant-garde works. The ensemble features Naidoo with alto saxophonist Justin Bellairs, pianist Kyle Shepherd, guitarist Reza Khota, and bassist Shane Cooper.
- Traditional instrument maker and master Dizu Plaatjies and his group Ibuyambo perform the music of the Xhosa people as well as other southern African traditions on November 1 in Zankel Hall.
- On November 5, Grammy Award–winning vocalist Angélique Kidjo celebrates the life and music of iconic South African singer and political activist Miriam Makeba, known popularly as “Mama Africa.” For this performance, Kidjo is joined by guest artists including Makeba’s supporting singers Zamokuhle “Zamo” Mbutho, Faith Kekana, and Stella Khumalo.
Singer and songwriter Michael Feinstein returns to Carnegie Hall on October 15 as artistic director of his three-concert Standard Time with Michael Feinstein series in Zankel Hall, exploring selections from the Great American Songbook alongside special guest artists. Additional performances take place on February 4 and March 25.
The New York Pops and Music Director Steven Reineke open their season of concerts in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage on October 24 with Finnish a cappella ensemble Rajaton in a program titled All You Need Is Love, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ arrival in America and the historic 1964 Carnegie Hall performance. Other concerts this fall include By Special Request: An Evening with the Orchestra featuring the musicians of the New York Pops performing popular symphonic works on November 14; Home for the Holidays, and the orchestra’s festive holiday program, this year featuring Broadway star Kelli O’Hara and Matthew Morrison, leading man from FOX television’s Glee on December 19 and 20.
On November 14 in Zankel Hall, Ryan Truesdell’s Gil Evans Project performs long lost big band masterpieces by celebrated composer-arranger Gil Evans. They perform them—alongside authentic renderings of his better known works—giving new life to one of jazz’s greatest writers.
Six-time Tony Award-winning actress Audra McDonald has a host of credits to her name, including Ragtime, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, A Raisin in the Sun, and Terrence McNally’s Master Class, among others. The soprano is equally at home on Broadway and opera stages as in roles on film and television, in addition to maintaining a thriving career as a concert and recording artist. She returns to Carnegie Hall on December 12, alongside Musical Director Andy Einhorn, with her trademark mix of show tunes, classic songs from movies, and pieces written for her by leading contemporary composers.
Virtuoso Colombian harpist Edmar Castañeda is known for removing audiences’ preconceived notions about whether or not the harp can be a jazz instrument. On March 6 in Zankel Hall, Castañeda taps into musical influences from his native Colombia as well as musical traditions from Venezuela and Argentina along with his trio featuring trombonist Marshall Gilkes, drummer/percussionist Dave Silliman, and special guest vocalist Andrea Tierra.
The New York Pops continues its season at Carnegie Hall on March 13 with a one night only performance by Sutton Foster, the two-time Tony Award–winning star of Thoroughly Modern Millie and Anything Goes. On April 10 in its final concert of the season, the orchestra presents Let’s Be Frank—a tribute to Frank Sinatra featuring guest artists Tony DeSare, Storm Large, Frankie Moreno, and Ryan Silverman.
Italian folk singer Lucilla Galeazzi breathes new life into the folk music of Italy on March 27 in Zankel Hall when she performs arrangements and dance melodies that celebrate the beauty and vitality of the Mediterranean’s multicultural heritage accompanied by an ensemble of fiddles, guitars, and percussion.
A former Carnegie Hall Perspectives artist and classical tabla player of the highest order, Zakir Hussain returns to Carnegie Hall on March 28, with his new project, Celtic Connections, which brings together Indian and Celtic musicians—including Rakesh Chaurasia, bamboo flute; Charlie McKerron, fiddle; Patsy Reid, fiddle; Matheu Watson, guitar; and John Joe Kelly, bodhran—in fascinating fusion.
On April 9, Carnegie Hall presents pianists Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock—two master musicians who share more than forty years of professional and personal history—in a rare duet concert.
On April 24, musicians from Afghanistan, India, and Tajikistan come together in Zankel Hall for In the Footsteps of Babur—a celebration of the vitality of the Mughal court and its music in the 16th century. Featured artists include Homayun Sakhi, Rahul Sharma, Sirojiddin Juraev, and Mukhtor Muborakqadamov.
Dynamic drummer and composer Brian Blade is joined by his all-star ensemble The Fellowship Band—comprised of longtime collaborators pianist Jon Cowherd, bassist Chris Thomas, soprano/tenor saxophonist Melvin Butler, and alto saxophonist and bass clarinetist Myron Walden—for a performance in Zankel Hall on April 25.
Grammy Award-winning flamenco singer Diego el Cigala combines bolero, Cuban jazz, and tango to create a one-of-a-kind musical style that highlights his trademark husky singing voice, intense expression, and explosive delivery on May 8.
Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall.