Marabi Nights: Jazz, 'race' and Society in Early Apartheid South African

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University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, 2012 - Music - 247 pages
This is the updated and substantially expanded second edition of Christopher Ballantine's classic Marabi Nights, which offers a fascinating view of the triumphs and tragedies of South Africa's marabi-jazz tradition. Based on conversations with legendary figures in the world of music - as well as a perceptive reading of music, the socio-political history, and social meanings - this book is one of sensitive and impassioned curatorship. New chapters extend the book's in-depth account of the birth and development of South African urban-black popular music. They include a powerful story about gender relations and music in the context of forced migrant labor in the 1950s, a critical study of the legendary Manhattan Brothers that uniquely positions their music and words in relation to the apartheid system, and an account of the musical, political, and commercial strategies of the local record industry. A new afterword looks critically at the place of jazz and popular music in South Africa since the end of apartheid, and argues for the continued relevance of the robust, questioning spirit of the marabi tradition. The book includes an illustrative CD of historic sound recordings that the author has unearthed and saved from oblivion.

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About the author (2012)

Christopher Ballantine is Professor of Music Emeritus at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and a Fellow of the University. He is rated an 'Internationally Acclaimed Researcher' by South Africa's National Research Foundation.

An author of three books (Marabi Nights: Early South African Jazz and Vaudeville; Music and its Social Meanings; and Twentieth Century Symphony), numerous chapters in books and articles in leading journals, Chris Ballantine's publications cover a wide range of issues in the fields of musicology, the sociology of music, popular music studies, and ethnomusicology. He is also active as a music critic, contributing reviews of live performances and recordings to publications such as the London-based monthlies Opera and the International Record Review.

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