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Universal launches Blue Note Africa

By | Published on Thursday 7 April 2022

Universal Music’s jazz-centric Blue Note label is launching a division in Africa in order to sign “jazz artists from across the African continent, bringing them to a global audience, and promoting a cultural exchange of ideas that transcends borders”. Blue Note Africa will get things started with the release of a new album from South African pianist and composer Nduduzo Makhathini.

“Blue Note has stood the test of time by continuing to adapt but keeping its focus on discovering and introducing jazz talent to the world”, says Sipho Dlamini, CEO of Universal Music Africa. “The opportunity to create Blue Note Africa and provide a channel for African jazz talent to have a home in the US, with a dedicated and passionate team lead by a legend in his own right – Don Was – is very exciting. We can now walk the African Jazz journey, from Cape to Cairo to California”.

Was is President of Blue Note back in the US, and he says of the new venture: “African music has been a major creative tributary for nearly every album in Blue Note’s extensive catalogue. So it’s a great honour for us to partner with Sipho and his talented Universal Music Africa team in this new endeavour. Together, we will shine a global light on the incredible music emanating from Africa today”.