‘He was a mu­si­cal gi­ant’

South African jazz mu­si­cian dies at 70

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - OBITUARIES - BY CHRISTOPHER TORCHIA

JO­HAN­NES­BURG — Ray Phiri, a South African jazz mu­si­cian who founded the band Stimela and be­came in­ter­na­tion­ally known while per­form­ing on Paul Si­mon’s Grace­land tour, died of can­cer on Wed­nes­day at age 70.

Phiri, a vo­cal­ist and gui­tarist known for his ver­sa­til­ity in jazz fu­sion, in­dige­nous South African rhythms and other styles, re­ceived many mu­sic awards in his home coun­try. His death was met with na­tion­wide trib­utes.

“He was a mu­si­cal gi­ant. This is in­deed a huge loss for South Africa and the mu­sic in­dus­try as a whole,’’ Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma said in a state­ment.

Po­lit­i­cal par­ties also ex­pressed con­do­lences, say­ing Phiri’s songs res­onated among many South Africans.

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