Pan Jazz to the world
Jul 2010 12

You can’t help being enthused and inspired by our affiliate Pan Jazz International which is a truly global music community that brings young people of all backgrounds together from across the globe with music.

Not just any music, they play funky jazz with orchestras built around the Carribean-style steel pan drum. They are a collective of music enthusiasts who starting with only six youngsters in the 1980s have managed to grow into a global family that spans three continents and boasts a wealth of diversity.  Their community comprises the founding UK-based Porchester Panyard; the South Africa Pan Jazz Project and Pan Jazz Project India.  These three groups are funded in part by the proceeds from their own performances and other fundraising efforts.  In the spirit of cultural exchange and global community a contingency of 45 members of the Porchester Pan Yard has recently returned from a tour in South Africa.

There they had the appropriate honour of playing concerts as part of (and in the spirit of) the just ended football World Cup festivities alongside members of the South Africa Pan Jazz Project. Through interaction and cultural exchange based around the medium of music; the two groups have developed lasting bonds in a web which will continue to perpetuate as the Pan Jazz fervor continues to grow with more and more exchange programmes. Their work is especially poignant in a place like South Africa; where social divisions from the past have left inevitable scars.

Pictures and a testimonial from one of instructors on the recent trip are available after the ‘read more’ jump.
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Ye Fre Mi Richy Pitch
Jun 2010 11

Ye Fre Mi Richy Pitch is the name of the album that showcases the latest creative endeavours from our friend, DJ, producer and author Richy Pitch. Reflecting two years spent in Ghana, Richy has collaborated with many local musicians, adding his own unique vibe to distinctly West African instrumentation. Check out exclusive footage of songs from the album being performed live, as well as an intimate discussion with Richy, who is accompanied by the international artist M.anifest. Together they discuss their musical collaborations including the album and the making of the song and video for the original track “Blackstar”.

Check out the Blackstar video and live performances from the Ye Fre Mi Richy Pitchy album after the jump…
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Big City Life
Jun 2010 03

The well known saying about New York City which goes “If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere” has evolved. New York can be substituted with previously less likely suspects like Lagos, Moscow, Mumbai, Shanghai, Sao Paulo and uncountable others. More than half of global society (and growing) now live in cities. The trend of increasing urbanisation globally is a result of interplay between the pull and push migratory factors which cause people to abandon rural agrarian lifestyles for the allure of ‘relative prosperity’ in cities and towns. Another contributing factor to the trend that finds more of us living in cities would be accelerated population growth due to the higher population density found in urban areas. In some cases the city just lands on you as its residents spill outward from congested city centres and it grows.

Also notable is the fact that urbanisation is growing much faster in the world’s poorer countries where in some cases there are insufficient resources and infrastructure (like pliable roads, running water and electricity). Many reading this will be familiar with water cuts and power load-shedding as a result.  Surely there is not enough room for every person that wants to live in a city, or is there?

Another thing to think about with regards to the consequences of growing global urbanisation is  sustainability and the not so small matter of preserving ‘undeveloped’ land in its natural beauty. There is a wealth of information this issue that you can read up on. There is good place to start courtesy of Aid et Action which you can find here: Global Urban Population in Developed and Developing Countries. In the meantime enjoy this music break by Keziah Jones called Lagos vs New York.

After the jump there is a really enlightening excerpt from the 3-part BBC series Welcome to Lagos that deals with many of the aforementioned issues.

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Music Break: Playing for Change
Apr 2010 28

This is what we are talking about! Playing for Change is a multimedia movement to inspire, connect, and bring peace to the world through music. Check their cover of Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me” by a group of diverse Global Citizens! Cheers for putting us on to this one Albert!!

Music Break: Gang Starr – Code of the streets
Apr 2010 21

R.I.P. Guru of Gangstarr.

Check the social commentary in the rhymes. A true poet. He will be missed.

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