Johnny Clegg (musician)

From Academic Kids

Johnny Clegg (born June 7 1953 Lancashire (near Manchester) UK) is a popular musician from South Africa, who has recorded and performed with his bands Juluka and Savuka. Sometimes called "the White Zulu", he is an important figure in South African popular music history, with songs that mix Zulu and English lyrics, and African / European / Celtic music styles.

As a young man, Clegg, a white, English-speaking anthropologist, became interested in Zulu street music. He formed the first inter-racial South African band, Juluka, with gardener and Zulu street musician Sipho Mchunu. Because it was illegal for inter-racial bands to perform in South Africa during apartheid, their first album Universal Man received no air play, but it became a word-of-mouth hit. They were able to tour in Europe, and had two platinum and five gold albums, becoming an international success.

Juluka was disbanded in 1986, when Mchunu was asked by his father to return home and herd the family goats, although Mchunu made some solo recordings afterwards. Clegg went on to form his second inter-racial band, Savuka, continuing to blend African music with European, especially Celtic, influences.

Briefly reunited with Mchunu in the mid-90's, Clegg reformed Juluka and toured throughout the world as the opening act for King Sunny Ade, as well as headliner performances.

The name Juluka is based on the Zulu word for "sweat", and Savuka is based on the Zulu word for "we have risen" or "we have awakened".

Clegg and his band often make an international tour during May-August (South African winter). However, the tours are usually limited to France and surrounding countries.

In June 2004, Clegg and Savuka toured North America for the first time in over eight years, doing 22 concerts in one month. Even though they had no albums for sale in North America during those eight years, and no significant media coverage, they filled most of their venues. At the close of the final concert at the Keswick Theater in Philadelphia, he stated that he was amazed at the reception they had gotten, and promised to return the following year with a full band. He then thanked his Internet fans for their support.

Yahoo! has a fan-run e-mail list called scatterlings (http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/scatterlings/) that discusses various aspects of Johnny Clegg and his music.

In 2004 he was voted 23rd in the Top 100 Great South Africans ( see List of South Africans).


External Links:

fr:Johnny Clegg

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