The South African All Stars

The South African All Stars

 New York City, New York, USA
BandWorld

The South African All Stars consist of the South African core of Paul Simon's Graceland band (Bakithi Kumalo on Bass, Morris Goldberg on sax/pennywhistle/clariney/vocals, Tony Cedras on keyboards/guitars/vocals) - and are backed by South African drummer, Anton Fig.

The band plays traditional South African music, and have backed Hugh Masekela numerous times.

In addition, they have done countless educational appearances, teaching about South African Music, apartheid (Bakithi Kumalo) and wo

Biography

MORRIS GOLDBERG
New York based composer, saxophonist, clarinetist, penny whistler and vocalist, Morris Goldberg recently completed recording his third album with his group, OJOYO. Mr. Goldberg grew up in Observatory, Cape Town, South Africa, and nurtured musical roots that span jazz, classical music, bebop and mbaqanga.

Well known to jazz lovers, Mr. Goldberg won popular acclaim through his featured performances on Paul Simon's "Graceland" album. Goldberg performed with Hugh Masekela, among others, before leaving South Africa to broaden his musical horizons.

In the United States, he attended the Manhattan School of Music and regularly recorded and performed with artists such as Miriam Makeba and Harry Belafonte. He also worked with exiled South African singer, Letta Mbulu. In 1974, Mr. Goldberg returned to Cape Town and participated in Abdullah (Dollar Brand) Ibrahim's recording, "Mannenberg", on which he was featured. In 1991, Goldberg was featured in Hugh Masekela's spectacular homecoming tour, "Sekunjalo", a twenty-date road show that featured Masekela, Bayete and Sankomota.

From 1980 until 1988 Morris traveled and performed with Harry Belafonte. He appeared on three videos. The last one, "An Evening with Harry Belafonte and Friends", was done for PBS and can still be seen on PBS stations throughout the country.

Goldberg attained nationwide acclaim as saxophonist and wind specialist on "The Rosie O'Donnell Show" for the six year duration of the television show, from 1996 until 2002. During that time he accompanied many artists such as Tony Bennett, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Barry Manilow, Phil Collins and more.

In 2004 Goldberg did an extensive tour of the USA with Hugh Masekela, playing major jazz festivals and culminating in the Playboy Jazz Festival, which was recorded and aired on WBGO Newark and WLIU Southampton.

In March of 2005 Goldberg performed at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival with his band "Ojoyo". In 1993, 1994, 1998 and 1999, Goldberg returned to South Africa to perform at the Standard Bank Jazz Festival in Grahamstown. Morris remains based in New York, but retains strong links with Cape Town and its musicians.

BAKITHI KUMALO
SOUTH AFRICAN composer, vocalist, and bassist Bakithi Kumalo was born in the Alexandria Township of Johannesburg.Abandoned by his father as a toddler, he was raised by his mother, who was a singer, and his family in nearby Soweto. He was exposed to local musical styles such as mbaqanga (a groove peculiar to the townships), mbube (a cappella vocal music), and jive (electric, urban pop) while he was very young.

At an early age, he decided to become a musician and at seven, was already performing in his uncle's band. Due to his persistence, he quickly became a regular on the wedding and party circuit around the township. At ten, he went on a tour into Zululand where he remained for a year and a half. During that time, he practiced the bass tirelessly. It was at this time that he developed his unique approach to bass playing.

With a reputation as a prodigy now established, Bakithi started to get recording session work, but the record companies were exploitative (he was paid as little as $2.50 per side) and money remained scarce. He did any work he could do to get by, including selling newspapers. As an only child, he felt a profound sense of responsibility towards his mother, but never doubted that he would someday become a famous musician and would be able to take good care of her.

In addition to economic hardships, Bakithi was also dealing with an oppressive political system, Under Apartheid, the police could commit any atrocities they pleased against people of color and never be held accountable. When Bakithi had a recording session in the city proper, he had to carry papers that authorized his presence in town. Without them, he would have risked arrest and detainment.

Bakithi's fame grew, but his musical career was still a terrible struggle and he was seriously considering taking a job as a car mechanic at the time Paul Simon came calling in 1985. Simon was in South Africa to assemble a band for his "Graceland" album. A well-known Johannesburg producer suggested Bakithi for his unique ability. Simon was entranced by his sound and, after some preliminary sessions in South Africa, he flew Bakithi to New York City to complete the tracks.

Bakithi was both thrilled and terrified to be in New York City. He had always longed to go to New York, but he barely spoke English and was understandably overwhelmed by this sudden dramatic change in fortune. However, his misgivings did not affect his playing and his indelible contributions to the Grammy-winning "Graceland" album gave him major visibility in the American music industry.

He found himself in much demand for recordings and tours with many great artists such as Chaka Khan, Harry Belafonte, Cyndi Lauper, Laurie Anderson, Jon Secada, and Gloria Estefan.

Today, Bakith

Discography

Figments - The South African All Stars
Ojoyo - Ojoyo
Forward Motion - Ojoyo