In 1980 South African trumpeter and social activist Hugh Masekela played a live concert in Lesotho, a country landlocked by his then oppressive home country.
Masekela traveled around the African continent during his career as well as the world. He played with Fela Kuti and Paul Simon. He set up a mobile recording studio in Botswana near the SA border to record Botswana artists.
Masekela released 44 studio albums and his last was called ‘No Borders’ (2016). On the cover it depicted a map of Africa from 1590, a vision of the continent before colonial powers put down divisive lines.
His impact is long lasting and now the 1980 concert in Lesotho is being re-released on vinyl by UK’s Matsuli Music.
We have covered before the long awaited justice brought forth for the family and memory of legendary Chilean protest singer Victor Jara who was murdered at the hands of the Pinochet army in 1973.
Jara left behind a great repertory of protest songs, some of which have had a lasting effect on the Chilean people. Along with Violeta Parra, Mercedes Sosa and others, he was part of the Nueva Canción, a musical genre and a social movement.
Today the Chilean people unite by singing those same songs that protest musicians created so many years ago as seen in the videos below. More than a million people have been recorded marching in the past days and already it seems it has had an effect on the president’s cabinet.
In the capital, Santiago, a curfew was initiated on the 19th of October. This did not keep people from raising their voice in protest. A soprano by the name of Ayleen Jovita Romero was recorded singing “El derecho de vivir en paz”, (The right to live in peace) by Victor Jara, from a balcony. Her voice can be heard reverberating between the buildings as the streets below are quiet.
DJ Riobamba will release her debut EP in the coming days and the single “Muerte” can be streamed on Soundcloud.
According to the press release the artist is “presenting a protest in coordination with Melting Point on October 24th from 2-6 PM in front of US Immigrant & Customs Enforcement (ICE) headquarters located at 26 Federal Plaza in Manhattan. Melting Point organizes parties to raise money for Al Otro Lado, a non-profit providing free legal representation for migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees at the border.”
Riobamba is not the first artist to stage a protest concert outside ICE headquarters. Recently Vic Mensa and 93 Punx did just that outside the ICE HQ’s in Los Angeles on the back of a pick up truck and literally in the face of LAPD officers.
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