Have you signed up for a ZOL fibroniks package?
If not you could miss out on an all expenses paid trip the to the 18th Cape Town International Jazz Festival. Sign up and stand a chance to win this amazing trip of a lifetime. #JazzZOLTheWay
Today we feature “Pops” Mohamed .
Composer, multi-instrumentalist and producer “Pops” Mohamed was born Ismail Mohamed-Jan in the vibrant East Rand community of Kalamazoo in 1949. Kalamazoo was sadly soon uprooted to bleak Reigert Park and demolished, but Mohamed’s memories of the community’s vibrant hybridity have shaped his envelope-busting concept of music ever since.
“Migrant miners playing their mouth bows with jazz musicians jamming on Count Basie…these sounds are always in my mind.” He learned guitar from jazzmen at Dorkay House, and subsequently worked in multiple hit-making pop outfits, sometimes alongside bassist Sipho Gumede. After cutting albums such as Black Disco (recently reissued: https://matsulimusic.bandcamp.com/album/night-express ) and Movement in the City, Mohamed’s music took a more roots turn.
“I figured that protecting and preserving our indigenous music could be my contribution to the struggle. We must know our heritage. I thought: if the Boers take that from us, we’re fucked!”
He mastered traditional instruments from kora to mouthbow and didgeridoo, while continuing to arrange and produce for a galaxy of South African jazz artists (including the late Moses Molelekwa’s debut, Finding Oneself), as well as working with, among others, Andreas Vollenweider, the London Sound Collective and ex-Blood Sweat and Tears trumpeter Bruce Cassidy.
Most recently, he has been working with the representatives of Kalahari San communities to both preserve and expose their healing sounds, and in Cape Town with Dave Reynolds and Tony Cedras (The Urban Khoisan Project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDhIT_uwHfU ; At Bluebird Garage https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Up6H8_Jze4 ).