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Women Singers in Global ContextsMusic, Biography, Identity$
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Ruth Hellier

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037245

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037245.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 25 June 2022

Sathima Bea Benjamin

Sathima Bea Benjamin

Musical Echoes and the Poetics of a South African–American Musical Self

(p.161) 8. Sathima Bea Benjamin
Women Singers in Global Contexts

Carol Muller

University of Illinois Press

This chapter explores the life and career of Sathima Bea Benjamin, who grew up in Cape Town, South Africa, during the transition to apartheid in the 1940s. Taking melodies she heard on her grandmother's radio, Sathima developed her own jazz singing voice, weaving in her own compositions. With a life embedded in an awareness of race and gender, she left for Europe in 1962. Her migratory lifestyle took her through tours in Europe, supporting her husband musician and caring for her daughters, to her own career development in New York City as a jazz singer with her own trio—where she continues to record, create, and perform. Sathima's vocality and life-stories reveal risks, freedoms, and creative processes as she creates a counternarrative to the discourses of masculinity in jazz.

Keywords:   Sathima Bea Benjamin, apartheid, African music, jazz singer, race, gender, migratory lifestyle, masculinity

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