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Moholo, Louis (South Africa)  
Louis Moholo. © Basil Breakey

Born in Langa, Cape Town in 1940, drummer and bandleader Louis Tebogo Moholo left South Africa in 1964 as a member of the Blue Notes with Chris McGregor (p), Mongezi Feza (tpt), Johnny Dyani (b), Nick Moyake and Dudu Pukwana (saxophones).

Moholoís profile as a drummer has its roots in the Blue Notes, but he has subsequently been associated with a host of projects, ranging from the Brotherhood of Breath with Chris McGregor in the 1970ís and 1980ís, to Viva la Black, the big band which he leads and which is a powerful showcase for his improvisational percussion work.

As a youth, Moholo was active with boy scout marching bands, and later performed on kit drums with Ronnie Beer's 'Swinging City Six'.

When he met McGregor, and joined Pukwana, Feza,Dyani and Moyake, the resulting Blue Notes blew the Johannesburg jazz scene. They were invited to the Antibes Jazz Festival in 1964, paving the way to their sustained impact on the European jazz circuit, and lives in exile.

After the death of Mongezi Feza in 1975, the Blue Notes ceased to exist as a regular unit, although collaborations between surviving members continued. Moholo continued to work with Chris McGregor, as well as bassists Johnny Dyani and Harry Miller. He spent much time in England, but visited South Africa in the early '70's.

drum (kit drums), bandleader
Genre: African Jazz, jazz
Acclaimed as a free form, avant garde drummer, Moholo is known for his polyrhythmic expression, and his work with an array of musicians, including Ornette Coleman, Archie Shepp, Keith Tippet, Irene Schwezer, Steve Lacey, Curtis Clarke, Cecil Taylor, and Derek Blakey.

He toured his native South Africa with Viva la Black in 1992/3, and performed as part of the "Return To Roots: International Jazz Comes Home" in 2003.

Louis Moholo at the Cape Town Int Jazz Festival © Eugene Arries

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