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Louis Moholo-Moholo

Louis Moholo born in Cape Town, South Africa, knew from a very early age that he wanted to play the drums. After working with many groups, and being awarded The Best Drummer of the Jabulani Festival 1964, he had already met up with, now known as the “stars” of those days, Dudu Pukwana, Mongezi Feza, Nick Moyake, Chris McGregor, and Johnny Dyani, with whom a journey of escape and development was about to begin. The Blue Notes after playing around SA, just escaping the forces of the Apartheid, were invited to the Antibes Jazz Festival in 1964, and after playing in festivals / clubs around Europe finally arrived in England in 1965. The music scene was knocked sideways with their stimulating rhythms and songs which influenced the jazz and improvised music scene in Europe which was also establishing its own identity at this time.

In 1965-67 Louis toured South America with Steve Lacy, returning to Britain in time to join Chris McGregor's newly formed Brotherhood of Breath which stunned audiences around Europe with their own special South African big band sound. Within this big band there were many other combinations of which Louis and Harry Miller on bass, formed one of the most formidable rhythm sections, such as Mike Osborne's Trio, Elton Dean's Ninesense, Harry's own group Isipingo, and various groups led by Dudu Pukwana.

All of Louis.s activities have been about cultural/musical synthesis and juxtaposition involving him with the rising talents in Europe. Enrico Rava in Italy, Misha Mengelberg, Curtis Clark, and Tristan Honsinger in Holland, Irene Schweizer in Switzerland, Peter Brotzmann in Germany, and was part of the Keith Tippett musical concepts, Centipede, Ark, and more recently the exceptional duo, “No Gossip”. One of the most exciting groups he led in the early seventies was the mighty Spirits Rejoice featuring Evan Parker, Radu Malfatti, Nick Evans, Kenny Wheeler, Keith Tippett and the twin SA basses of Harry Miller and Johnny Dyani. Resurrected in 2000 and toured UK for the Arts Council of Great Britain, with Paul Rogers on bass.

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