Miriam Makeba in King Kong: the South African jazz musical
Time: 19:00 - 21:00
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: MD049A
Duration: 1 session
What is the course about?
This class will look at the history, the music and the political ramifications of Miriam Makeba’s career and King Kong: the musical that was ‘bigger than Cape Town’.
Makeba was already a singing star in South Africa when invited to join the cast of King Kong, an innovative musical concerning the life of a famous South African boxer of the 1950s. King Kong had an all-black cast, while the director, music director, lyricist, writer and choreographer were white South Africans, at the height of apartheid.
For Makeba this production brought international recognition and, most importantly, exile from her home country, together with fellow musician Hugh Masekela. Miriam Makeba’s voice gave hope to South Africans under the apartheid regime, including Nelson Mandela.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
- A biography of Miriam Makeba, her music and her life
- An overview of the King Kong musical and its musical and political significance
- Examples of the King Kong repertoire, South African township jazz, marabi and pennywhistle kwela.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- have an overall picture of Miriam Makeba’s position as an African diva
- understand the musical and political ramifications of the King Kong story and Makeba’s part in it
- have some familiarity with the King Kong music and township jazz.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
No prior knowledge of music is assumed or expected.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
This is an online course taught via zoom:
- You will be taught using a range of techniques including lecture, slide show and discussion, practical demonstration on the piano and guided listening. The course uses a variety of materials including YouTube clips. Links to these are given on Google Classroom so that further exploration may take place if you wish.
- Online resources for further reading and listening will be available via Google Classroom.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You will need a good internet connection and a computer with microphone & webcam. If using a tablet it will need a screen large enough for you to comfortably view the on-screen class material..
You may also wish to purchase some of the books or recordings discussed in class, links to these materials will be available online.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
To find out more about music history classes Music history courses in London and online which lists our full programme of classes ordered by term, and by day of the week. You may then click on each title to read the full course outline.
Sarha is an experienced teacher and gigging musician, performing on the saxophone, arranging and composing on the piano, in classical, jazz and world music genres. Her principal band, Bollywood Brass Band, is the UK’s pioneering Indian-style wedding band, performing tunes and compulsively danceable rhythms of Bollywood films. Twice nominated for Songlines World Music Awards, the band has performed across the world in concerts, festivals, and Indian weddings in the UK, Europe, India, Thailand and South Africa. Sarha played with Ghanaian Highlife band Orchestre Jazira, and socialist big band, The Happy End. She also plays in the Charlie Mingus jazz cover band Hog Callin’, The Great Yiddish Parade marching band and Freylekh klezmer band. Sarha’s specialist area is World Music, and she has a PhD on the study of the Flattened Supertonic across different cultures. At CityLit she teaches jazz and classical piano, saxophone, world music styles (practical and academic courses), musicianship and music theory.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.