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East End Arts To Welcome International Musician Bakithi Kumalo For Winter Residency

Julia Braat

The South African musician is noted for his work as a bassist, composer, and vocalist. (Photo: Lenny Stucker)

This winter, East End Arts is offering the opportunity to study with Bakithi Kumalo, an international musician who is the bassist for Paul Simon.

"I consider the East End of Long Island to be fortunate to welcome Bakithi Kumalo for a residency in 2017," shared Patricia Snyder, East End Arts Executive Director. "I am a huge fan of Bakithi's since meeting him during the inception of Winterfest Live on the Vine music festival ten years ago."

The South African musician is noted for his work as a bassist, composer, and vocalist. Working with a huge variety of artists including Gloria Estefan, Herbie Hancock, Chaka Khan, Harry Belafonte, Cyndi Lauper, and Paul Simon, his diverse talents definitely shine. Having four albums under his belt, he is also a recipient of three awards for his children albums which he recorded with his wife, vocalist Robbi Kumalo. His incredible career began in Soweto, his hometown. "I picked up the bass early and realized I could follow the groove of a tune with it," he noted. "I could play the bass lines from a cappella music, and I learned how to develop lines based on the left-hand work of accordion players in the township bands."

Bakithi Kumalo's residency at East End Arts will take place from Tuesday, January 3rd through Saturday, February 11th.

Serving as the mentor for the East End Arts Music Masters Mentorship program, Kumalo will be leading high school students and teaching them about his profession during East End Arts' intensive six-week program.

Performers of all ages are invited to A Musician's Workshop with Bakithi Kumalo on Wednesday, January 25th. The three-hour adult workshop will be a hands-on learning experience and attendees may bring along their instrument of choice.

Additionally, Under the African Skies, a documentary that follows Paul Simon's return to South Africa to explore the journey of his Grammy Award-winning Graceland album, will screen on Saturday, February 4th at Peconic Landing Community Center Auditorium (1500 Brecknock Road, Greenport). The evening will include a Q&A with Kumalo, who is featured in the film.

"Bakithi offers us a new dimension to international understanding through music," added Snyder.

The deadline to sign up for the East End Arts Music Masters Mentorship program is Sunday, December 18th.

For more information, call or visit eastendarts.org.

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