Three days ago, while reaching for a suitcase to pack for his Grahamstown trip, Ray Phiri, the grand old man of mbaqanga music, falls off a chair and breaks three ribs.
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There is a seat in the Guy Butler Theatre in a three-seat row for the gods reserved for people with very short legs. I got it last night for Mango Groove, the hugely photogenic poster children for this year’s Standard Bank Jazz Festival. Odd that. Not that the band doesn’t boast a couple of jazz musicians but Mango Groove are pop. Their crossover music includes township grooves from the ’50s to the present-day, even some reggae. You need to dance to it. And they were booked into the Guy Butler Theatre. Even odder that.
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