Lorraine Klaasen, the daughter of legendary South African Jazz singer Thandie Klaasen, is one of the few South African artists who have preserved the classic sound of Township music, which continues to be the most distinctive sound to come out of South Africa. Born and raised in Soweto, South Africa, Lorraine has electrified audiences worldwide with her dynamic stage presence and showmanship. Performance highlights include the prestigious Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, Festival International Nuits D’Afrique, Music of the Rainbow Nation an Hommage à Miriam Makeba in Toronto – as well as very successful tours of Europe, the Caribbean and North America.
A Juno Award winner – Lorraine has released several acclaimed recordings including
Africa Calling (2008), A Tribute To Miriam Makeba (2012) and Nouvelle Journée (2016). She sings in several languages including Zulu, Sotho, Xhosa, Lingala, English and French. For her latest undertaking – Lorraine teams up with long-time collaborator, guitarist and producer Mongezi Ntaka. Entitled ‘Ukubonga (Gratitude)’ (November 2022), this recording is a collection of songs from the Southern Africa’s Township music songbook and features songs written by some of Southern Africa’s celebrated singers and composers.
Lorraine & Mongezi decided to show gratitude to the dedicated artists who endured and survived some of the most brutal and humiliating experiences a human can experience while pursuing their musical careers to support their families. Both Lorraine & Mongezi experienced some of the conditions that this generation of artists experienced in South Africa during the dark years of apartheid but not to the extent experienced by these celebrated artists whose songs Lorraine and Mongezi are borrowing to remind Africans of the basic concept of gratitude.
The Township music sound comes from a people who have endured and triumphed over very difficult times. Township music has preserved a lot of indigenous cultures of Africa through its flexibility in adapting to new technologies and has also influenced political and social change.