Vusi Mahlasela performs | WBEZ
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Morning Shift

Vusi Mahlasela performs

In South Africa, Vusi Mahlasela is simply known as “The Voice”. As a boy, Mahlasela started listening to the sounds of Motown and James Brown coming out of the pub his grandmother owned behind their house. He taught himself to play with a guitar made out of fishing wire and a cooking oil can. He joined poetry and writers groups, and honed his lyrical skills by documenting the injustices he witnessed during the apartheid era. His songs about freedom and justice earned him harassment and jail time. His first album came right after the fall of apartheid, and he became known around the world when Nelson Mandela had him sing at his inauguration. Mahlasela has teamed up for a U.S. tour with another South African legend, Hugh Masekela, and joins the Morning Shift before their gig Friday night at the Old Town School of Folk Music.

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