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Lebo M to serve as music composer, producer for Oscar winner Viola Davis's film The Woman King – NewsDay

The Lion King composer and producer Lebo M has boarded Oscar winner Viola Davis’s film The Woman King. 

Lebo M confirmed to Sowetan in a statement that he will serve as the music composer and producer for the Hollywood project also starring SA’s very own Thuso Mbedu.

Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o is also tied to the historic epic currently being filmed on a secret location in SA.

“This movie is a testament of what many have been fighting for, especially in the acting fraternity – strong black women rising and shining in the forefront,” Lebo M said.

“These were the words that Viola Davis shared when announcing the cast of the film. I could not agree more, and such projects must be created and shared with the rest of the world.

“I am excited that this project will be celebrated through the unique techniques that we used when creating the soundtracks.”

Lebo M will compose and produce five songs for the film. He is said to be working with a team of 50 choir singers, percussionists, sound engineers and programmers.

“The five songs have been crafted with precision and due consideration of the immense historical significance that the movie brings, but it also represents the prowess of local talent,” Lebo M said.

“Being part of this unrivalled ensemble cast is an honour and a privilege, allowing us to produce music that will not only elevate the rising phenoms in the movie but also affirms our culture and traditions through the telling of this story.”

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New Kenny G doc explores his massive success and criticism – The Zimbabwe Mail

Kenny G



NEW YORK (AP) — Kenny Gorelick, known to millions as Kenny G, has been one of the most beloved — and hated — figures in music throughout the last three decades. But the music superstar, synonymous for his long, curly brown hair as much as for his soprano saxophone, has ignored his critics and remained largely unbothered, well before the term was a popular social media hashtag.

“If you’re going to criticize me, I’m just not going to go with that because I already know that I’m doing my very, very best. So, there’s where the confidence comes from,” said the Grammy winner. “Did it ever really hurt me? Honestly, no. Because I’ve got my armor of knowing I’m doing my very, very best. That’s why I practice every day… I’m never a little rusty — ever.”

Kenny G’s unconventional journey to the top — and the jazz purists’ feathers he’s ruffled along the way — is explored in the new documentary “Listening to Kenny G” directed by Penny Lane, which premieres Friday at 8 p.m. EST on HBO. In addition to the criticism, the film details his Seattle upbringing, being discovered by legendary music executive Clive Davis, and the massive success of hit songs like “ Silhouette,” “ Songbird ” and “ Sentimental.”

The Associated Press spoke with Kenny G, who will also release a new album called “New Standards” on Friday, about his participation in the film, his legacy, and working with current megastar artists like Kanye West and The Weeknd. Answers have been edited for clarity and brevity.

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AP: The film opens up with some very harsh criticism of you, but you seem to have tough skin. Was there ever a time it bothered you?

KENNY G: Since the ’80s, I’ve always thought of it kind of this way: They don’t particularly like my style of music. So the songs I put out, especially once they got popular— of course, once they got popular — they hated it more… They’re just thinking that maybe I’m just creating these melodies because I know somehow it’s going to sell records and I’m going to be rich and famous because of this, which I had no idea of. I’m just playing songs the way that I hear them. I love a melody that’s played properly.


AP: What convinced you to participate in a documentary with Penny Lane?

KENNY G: She was not necessarily a fan of my music, which I thought was cool that she said that right off the bat. But not that she didn’t like it, she just wasn’t this big fan that wanted to make a movie about me. She just said that there’s a story to tell about how “there’s a group of people that really have a problem with your success. And I’d like to tell that story.” I said, “I’ve been hearing that since the ’80s.”

AP: Because you’ve faced so much criticism from jazz purists, do you think you’ve influenced up-and-coming jazz artists?

KENNY G: I think so in some ways. You know, first: the fact that the saxophone is out there so much — that people are hearing the sax. I know the soprano sax has definitely gotten a resurgence because of me and the fact that I’ve been out there so much with the soprano, mostly.

AP: You’ve connected with Kanye West and the Weeknd. Is that how you’ve stayed current?

KENNY G: I’m really flattered when I get those phone calls from Kanye and then The Weeknd, of course. It makes me feel great that somehow they want my sound to be part of their music. And they’re so popular now — they don’t need me. I’m not doing them a big favor. They’re not reaching out to me so I can help them sell records. They’re just doing it purely because creatively, they think, “Oh, wow, (we love) your sound.”

AP: Kenny, what do you think your legacy will be? I think the documentary leads to that question.

KENNY G: Gosh, I’ve never even thought about something like that. I don’t think of myself so seriously to have a legacy. But I mean, I don’t know — hopefully it inspires people to want to play the saxophone… Maybe part of my legacy is people really interested maybe more in me because of the notoriety that I have, but maybe I can steer them towards some of the old traditional jazz stuff that they may not have ever heard, and I can keep that music alive longer. ___

Follow Associated Press entertainment journalist Gary Gerard Hamilton with his handle @GaryGHamilton on all social media platforms.


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Pastor stuck in immigration slowdown | CTV News – CTV News London

Huron County, Ont. –

For the past year and half, there’s been no one to lead services at Pine River United Church near Ripley, Ont.

“We’re missing the continuity of having a regular minister every week with us, and pastoral care. Things we’ve always counted on before,” says congregation member and music director, Patt Lowry.

Pine River’s minister retired 14 months ago. In May, following an exhaustive search, the congregation decided to hire Reverend Wonder Chimvinga from Zimbabwe.

His immigration application was submitted in June and the congregation expected him to arrive in six to nine weeks’ time.

“We’re now at week 24,” says congregation member and part of the search committee, Janice Curtis. “He got terrible news a week ago, that (his immigration application) had been turned down by the High Commission in Pretoria, so the United Church of Canada has now hired an immigration lawyer that’s now working with him,” she says.

Curtis says it appears their new minister is caught up in a confusing immigration backlog.

“It seems to be they’re kind of obsessed with whether he’ll actually return to Zimbabwe at the end of his stay. Of course, we’re hoping he’s on the track to permanent residency and eventually citizenship. That’s what he wants to do,” says Curtis.

Complicating matters, Chimvinga sold his car and some other personal belongings to pay for the immigration application, so he and his three children, are left in limbo along with the congregation.

“Apparently it’s not all that uncommon in that part of the world, for the first time to be turned down, so we’re hopeful eventually it will come to pass,” says Curtis.

Local MP Ben Lobb is now on the case, along with the immigration minister, to try and get Pine River’s reverend, to Canada. However, flights from Zimbabwe are currently banned from entering the country due to concerns over the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

“We were pretty excited in the beginning. This is something brand new for this area to have someone from Zimbabwe. It’s just kind of gone the other way lately,” says Lowry.

The congregation recently held a ‘pray-in,’ appealing to a higher power to deliver their new reverend from immigration purgatory.

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Chimedza reflects on mbira music – NewsDay

BY TENDAI SAUTA
MBIRA Centre founder Albert Chimedza said they would reopen in the first quarter of next year having temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an interview with NewsDay Life & Style, Chimedza said improvisation and entrepreneurship around the mbira instrument were some of the ways to bring relief from economic difficulties during the COVID-19 challenges.

“We shut the workshop when the pandemic started in 2020.

“We are carrying out work to make all Mbira Centre workspaces compliant with COVID-19 regulations. We plan to restart production in the first quarter of 2022,” he said.

“In the midst of COVID-19 difficult times, we went ahead with the online festivals and continued to work on the formalisation of the Mbira Guild of Zimbabwe.”

An accomplished mbira player and manufacturer, Chimedza said artistes must think outside the box in this COVID-19 environment.

“COVID-19 is offering new challenges and opportunities.  It does not hurt to try some new thinking and ways of doing things,” he said.

“Collectively as Zimbabweans, with clarity of purpose and an entrepreneurial spirit in mbira practice, mbira can go far in the coming years.”

Chimedza said there would be more interaction between mbira and other music forms.

“More people from non-mbira music backgrounds will engage the instrument and, hopefully, bring in new music possibilities and dimensions to the instrument,” he said.

  • Follow us on Twitter @NewsDayZimbabwe

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