UBUNTU Music & Arts Festival at Carnegie Hall This Month

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The Ubuntu Festival, which is a tribute to Nelson Mandela and South Africa’s rich musical heritage, launched on October 8, 2014 and runs through November 5 at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

South Africa is a dizzying patchwork of cultures and languages with 11 official tongues, including isiZulu, isiXhosa, Sesotho, Afrikaans, and English. From this diversity emerges a dynamic and impassioned cultural life like none other on earth.

Carnegie Hall salutes this vibrant nation with a festival called UBUNTU: Music and Arts of South Africa. Roughly translating to mean “I am because you are,” ubuntu is a philosophy from Southern Africa that emphasizes the importance of community, influencing recent moves of reconciliation and inclusion in South Africa that were fostered by the late Nelson Mandela.

Dedicated to Mandela’s legacy, Carnegie Hall’s UBUNTU festival celebrates the many threads that make up South Africa’s vibrant musical culture. The festival also extends throughout New York City with events at leading cultural institutions, crossing arts disciplines to include music, film, art exhibitions, and more.

“In creating the Ubuntu festival, we were inspired by the cultural life of this incredibly diverse country,” said Clive Gillinson, Carnegie Hall’s Executive and Artistic Director in a South Africa media interview/article.

“It is a nation with a dynamic, often surprising culture like no other—the birthplace of larger-than-life musical presences like Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba, Abdullah Ibrahim, and now, a seemingly endless array of vocal talent from every corner of the country.

In addition to the performances, the festival will also feature a variety of citywide events including a master class by Abdullah Ibrahim and an exhibition by William Kentridge at the Marian Goodman Gallery that runs from October 27 to 26 November 26. For a the full Ubuntu programme visit carnegiehall.org/SouthAfrica.

Photo: Lee Hirsch

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