Johnny Clegg - dancer, anthropologist, singer, songwriter, academic, activist and French knight. Whilst all of these tags are fitting, none of them can accurately describe the energetic, passionate human being who has become one of South Africa's greatest musical exports. He has campaigned against the injustice of apartheid South Africa and been instrumental in putting the new South Africa on the map as a cultural ambassador. More info on Johnny's life and achievements is available here.
Recently awarded three honorary doctorates from Dartmouth College, CUNY and University of the Witwatersrand, Johnny, a former Grammy nominee and Billboard music award winner, still tours regularly, both at home and abroad, with dates pegged for 2012 in Europe and north America. Be sure not to miss his dynamic live act should it come your way. A list of current tour dates is available on this page.
This site contains biographies, videos, audio clips, tour schedules and links to merchandising. Work is underway to make individual songs available for DRM-free download from this site in the near future.
Kirstenbosch April show
Fresh from his Royal Albert Hall performance of A SOUTH AFRICAN STORY,
Johnny, brings the Summer Sunset concerts at Kirstenbosch to a spectacular
close on Sunday April 7...
April 10 sees Johnny and band playing the Katara amphitheatre in Doha. Details to follow...
As Johnny was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters at Dartmouth College this month, President Jim Yong Kim of Dartmouth College (about to become President of the World Bank), had the following to say:
June 10, 2012
"JOHNNY CLEGG, if music is the food of love, yours is a veritable banquet. You infuse it with the rhythms of Africa and the melodies of the West to create a unique blend that at once sustains and empowers. Like all great art, it transcends difference to express the boundless spirit of our rainbow world.
Born in England, you grew up in southern Africa, a "white Zulu" with a heart as big as the continent and a belief in justice fired by your awareness from a young age of senseless inequality. In the dark days of apartheid, when those who would separate us sought to silence you, your vibrant music fed the soul of the movement to end such separation.
Bans, raids, and arrests never stopped you from giving voice to the people, decrying the hardships inflicted on them, and celebrating their proud cultures. Today, in a better time, your songs unite the crowds who throng the rugby stadiums and pack the public arenas of your beloved South Africa and echo around the world.
With your bands Juluka and then Savuka, and as a solo artist, you have earned wide international acclaim. You are South Africa's "living treasure," Swaziland's "royal minstrel" and a French Knight of Arts and Letters. And, as an accomplished anthropologist, you have written seminal papers on Zulu music and dance and lectured at home and abroad. On your visits to Dartmouth, you showed us that your teaching is as inspiring as your music.
You once said the hardest lesson you ever learned was recognizing opportunities. You learned that lesson well. With the company African Sky, you saw the opportunity both to protect our planet and put people to work by recycling e-waste. You use music and song to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS and highlight the need for prevention.
Johnny, for the decades you spent bringing unity where there was division and preserving your country's heritage, Dartmouth is proud to award you the honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters."
President Jim Yong Kim
On Freedom day , the 27th of April 2012, Johnny Clegg received the presidential IKHAMANGA award as part of the National Orders ceremony. The National Orders are the highest honour a citizen can receive for his/her contribution to South Africa.
"Awarded for his excellent contribution to and achievement in the field of bridging African traditional music with other music forms, promoting racial understanding among racially divided groups in South Africa under difficult apartheid conditions, working for a non-racial society and being an outstanding spokesperson for the release of political prisoners."
Current Album: HUMAN
"...He is a compelling singer and he has a strong rock pop feel to his songs that have never distanced themselves from the Zulu music he grew up with" - FAME reviewer
"With Human, Clegg once again shows off an ability to combine pure pop with international beats that is truly remarkable" - Crawdaddy
"...the songs on 'Human' center on finding identity, understanding or love in a rapidly shifting landscape." - LA Times
"...Even when Clegg is addressing very specific African dilemmas, there is a
universality that accompanies the message and, of course, the music that propels the message transcends any attempt to fit it into a particular
pigeonhole. On Human, like so many albums before, Clegg is a human making human music. Over the past three decades, few have done that as well as him." - Cincinatti Beat