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Native African musician Magauwane Mahloele will give two presentations on February 15 at Lafayette College. His visit is one of many events included in Lafayette College’s celebration of Black History Month, which this year is themed “Black by Nature, Gifted by the Spirit, and Abled by God.”

At 11 a.m., Mahloele will give a presentation for students in the class Introduction to World Music, taught by Larry Stockton, professor of music and department head, in room 123 of the Williams Center for the Arts. Later that day at 4:15 p.m., he will give an informal workshop on African music at the Portlock Black Cultural Center, 101 McCartney Street, on the corner of Clinton Terrace.

The public is welcome to attend both presentations free of charge. No tickets are required.

“He plays a wonderful array of indigenous African instruments, all of which he has hand crafted,” says Ellis Finger, Director of Cultural Programs. “He plays drums, balaphone, kora, thumb piano, and various other melodic and percussion instruments. By all reports, he is a charismatic and thrilling performer, and the variety of his songs shows off the many facets of his personality and musical explorations.”

Mahloele was born and raised in South Africa among the BaPedi people, known for their versatility in music and instrumentation. His mentors impressed upon him not only technique and particular rhythms and music, but also a deep seriousness in the ethics and aesthetics of his culture and social structure. His struggles against the apartheid system in which he grew up framed his music. Mahloele now makes his home in the Philadelphia area.

Along with more than 40 years of musical experience, Mahloele is skilled as a sculptor, painter, actor, and audio engineer. He has toured throughout Africa, Europe, and the United States as a performer and teacher, displaying his sculptures, paintings, and musical instruments. Mahloele has performed at the Clef Club, Temple University, Beaver College, Eastern State Penitentiary, and internationally known venues. He has collaborated with artists as diverse as Homer Jackson, Khan Jamal, Odeon Pope, Don Famoudou Moye, Dudu Phukwana, Joe Malinga, and Hugh Masekela.

For more information, call the Williams Center at 610-330-5010.

The 1999-2000 Performance Series at Lafayette College is sponsored, in part, by grants from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Mid Atlantic Foundation for the Arts.

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