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2008-09-12 16:26
SA mourns a jazz legend
Renowned jazz musician Bheki Mseleku died this week at the age of 53 after a long battle with diabetes. Mseleku, who was born in KwaZulu-Natal, died in the United Kingdom where he was residing. Mseleku came from an artistically inclined family who took charge of his life and fate when he taught himself to play various instruments. In 1975 he moved to Johannesburg, where he joined Spirits Rejoice. Although Mseleku was a versatile instrumentalist, he was greatly attracted to jazz as it was a genre that seemed to ignite his soul because it allowed him self-expression to not only shape his individual identity but to articulate the plight of his fellow African people. Shortly after the Soweto uprising of 1976, Mseleku left SA in defiance of apartheid and found an international audience. At the height of his career, Mseleku stepped forward to lead top jazz musicians such as Courtney Pine, Steve Williamson, Eddie Parker, Jean Toussaint, Michael Bowie and Marvin "Smitty" Smith to record the acclaimed album Celebration. He released his final solo album Home At Last in 2003 under the Sheer Sound label. He is survived by his wife Nomvula Ndlazilwane and his seven children.

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In music news this week: Beyoncé's sick of being a hot chick, SA mourns a jazz legend, a Gossip Girl goes pop, and would you buy Michael Jackson's dirty underwear?

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