Nonhlanhla Wanda and Sharon Katz. Two South African musicians – born on opposite sides of Apartheid’s barriers – who sang out in support of Nelson Mandela’s vision 25 years ago by forming “The Peace Train” and steaming across their country. Now as South Africa prepares to celebrate a quarter century of democracy, these two Grammy-nominated humanitarians and friends-for-life have released SIDE-BY-SIDE. It features all original compositions in English and Zulu by Nonhlanhla, Sharon and producer Malcolm Nhleko, formerly a member of The Peace Train and now sound engineer for Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
The 7 songs on SIDE-BY-SIDE are about courage in the face of adversity; the lessons of our ancestors; and the power of individuals – all passionately expressed through gorgeous vocal harmonies and instrumental wizardry in an Afro-Jazz fusion style that blends traditional South African Maskanda with contemporary grooves and lyrical melodies. Complementing the distinctive voices of Nonhlanhla and Sharon are Qhubekani Mthethwa on bass, Charles Boykie Mnomiya on drums, Sanele Phakathi on piano and synthesizer, and Sharon Katz on rhythm and lead guitars. Magical, Aware, Rhythmic, Powerful, Melodic, Soulful.
Since 1992 when they began their musical mission to help end violence and discrimination in South Africa, Sharon and Nonhlanhla have traveled extensively to lend their voices to human rights struggles around the world, most recently transcending barriers along the border between Mexico and the USA. Their work is the subject of the documentary film, When Voices Meet, which has been selected by 23 film festivals, won awards coast-to-coast, and been shown in over 50 countries.
In addition to the Grammy-nominated 2002 release “Imbizo,” Sharon Katz & The Peace Train have 5 other albums and appear on the Rainforest benefit album, “Carnival!” alongside of Sting, Elton John, Madonna and Tina Turner.
1. Amaqhawe (Heroes) – Emotionally-charged tribute to the heroes who inspire us to reach across the divides and continue our positive work in the world. (pronounced AMA-QHA-WE ) – NOTE: The “Q” is a “click.”
2. Hamba Kahle Mandela (Go Well Mandela) – A stirring ballad to say goodbye to Mandela and a challenge to carry his lessons forward. (pronounced HAM-BA-KAH-LE MANDELA) (H=soft sound)
3. Bayajabula (Some Are Happy) – A chunky South African guitar groove dominates this track that describes the dichotomy of rich and poor in the New South Africa. (pronounced BA-YA-JA-BU-LA)
4 Sing With Me – A jazzy ballad with soaring melodies about the courage and survival of children against all odds.
5. Elamanqamu (Stop the Fighting) – Maskanda guitar licks and powerful Zulu laments make an appeal to stop the senseless fighting before it’s too late. (pronounced EL-A-MA-NQA-MU) – NOTE: The “Q” is a “click.”
6. We Can Be The Change – Funky Afro-Soul tune to be the change we want to see in the world
7. Outro – Instrumental blending the Zulu traditional bow instrument called Idloko with Sharon’s guitar
(Idloko is pronounced U-DLO-KO ) – NOTE: soft D