His website details all the national celebrations Vusi Mahlasela has been a part of in post-apartheid South Africa, including performing at Nelson Mandela’s 1994 inauguration and during the 2010 World Cup tournament. He also opened for the Dave Matthews Band in 2013 when Matthews, a native of South Africa, played his home country for the first time. His bio says this of Mahlasela: “His songs of hope connect Apartheid-scarred South Africa with its promise for a better future.” Mahlasela is old enough to remember a South Africa where non-whites were required to live in segregated “townships,” rough areas that received little in the way of government services. His signature song, “When You Come Back,” is addressed to those who left the country to escape apartheid’s miseries. Mahlasela grew up in Mamelodi township, near Pretoria, where his grandmother ran a popular club, and Mahlasela, in the words of publicity materials, “was exposed to all of the amazing music brewing in the townships in the 60’s and 70’s.” Inspired by those early experiences, Mahlasela and his band are performing “Township,” described as “an uplifting special tribute to the music of Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela, Dorothy Masuka, and Brenda Fassie – and celebrating the 100th birthday of global peacemaker Mandela and nearly 25 years of freedom from apartheid.” The show is presented in cooperation with Troy’s Sanctuary for Independent Media as a fundraising concert for its community radio station, WOOC 105.3 FM.
7:30 p.m. Thursday. $29.50. The Egg, Empire State Plaza, Albany. 518-473-1845. theegg.org.
The Sanctuary for Independent Media is a telecommunications production facility dedicated to community media arts, located in an historic former church at 3361 6th Avenue in north Troy, NY. The Sanctuary hosts screening, production and performance facilities, training in media production and a meeting space for artists, activists and independent media makers of all kinds.