Deelee Dubé, Trying Times

I was beginning to think that Trying Times would never see the light of day. Thankfully it has, slipped out with very little fanfare. Produced by Kenny Garrett pianist Benito Gonzalez Deelee has an outstandingly real classic jazz voice, a rarity …

Published: 2 Feb 2021. Updated: 22 months.

I was beginning to think that Trying Times would never see the light of day. Thankfully it has, slipped out with very little fanfare. Produced by Kenny Garrett pianist Benito Gonzalez Deelee has an outstandingly real classic jazz voice, a rarity these days and also a throwback to the golden age, that's why we beat a path to hear her play.

A very starry cast of top US players including the quondam Diana Krall guitarist Russell Malone, Gonzalez and a horn section who include the Abdullah Ibrahim Ekaya player trombonist Andrae Murchison join the singer. Yet all recede as the singer seizes the day to formidable effect.

Deelee made her name winning the prestigious Sassy prize but it's been difficult since to continue that momentum .

Connoisseurs beat a path, it's the sort of record we'll all be returning to again and again. A very understated singer fundamentally yet who has power and interpretative resource bubbling up and so much to share that's her gift and this is a new dawn. SG

Out now.

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Sibongile Khumalo has died

The distinguished globally renowned South African singer Sibongile Khumalo whose work spanned several musical boundaries has died. She was 63. SABC news reports that the jazz musician and opera singer ''will be laid to rest next Saturday in …

Published: 2 Feb 2021. Updated: 22 months.

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The distinguished globally renowned South African singer Sibongile Khumalo whose work spanned several musical boundaries has died. She was 63. SABC news reports that the jazz musician and opera singer ''will be laid to rest next Saturday in Johannesburg. She died from stroke-related complications.''

Known in South Africa as 'Mam Sibongile she had an extraordinary voice. Born in Soweto she performed at Nelson Mandela’s 75th birthday and 1994 presidential inauguration. The Steve Biko Foundation has paid tribute among many online by commenting that “Ms Khumalo’s warmth and generosity of spirit were matched only by the immense talent she demonstrated and the glorious voice that lifted our national spirits on so many occasions.”

Read a full obituary in The New York Times