Monday, May 25, 2009
It's hard to believe that our 2009 Rhythm Road in southern Africa has come to an end. Helen Sung & NuGenerations, with Lonnie Plaxico (bass); Quincy Davis (drums); and Saundra Silliman (vocals) want to thank everyone at the US State Department, including the PAOs & CAOs in Africa, the ambassadors & their spouses, all the staff, the Jazz at Lincoln Center folks - Monak, Shana, Colleen, and Jean, y'all are the best!
Back in Swaziland, we were told by Mrs. Parker (wife of US Ambassador to Swaziland Maurice Parker) that there were penguins near Cape Town. Because of their braying, they're called jackass penguins(!). Having always associated penguins with icy conditions (i.e. March of the Penguins, or Happy Feet), I was very curious to see them. On Saturday May 23, our last full day in Cape Town, I took the train down the coast to Simon's Town, where there is a penguin sanctuary at Boulders Beach...all I can say is, WOW!
The train ride south afforded some spectacular views of False Bay:
Boulders Beach was strewn with boulders of all shapes & sizes...penguin sighting!
Watching penguins hangin' out at the beach...I wonder if they prefer the sand or the boulders?
It's baby season, so there were mothers sitting on eggs, little ones trying out their new voices, and cute pictures like these:
Our stay in Capetown coincided with the 10th Anniversary of the Cape Town Big Band Festival. Produced by the fabulous Anne Barr, the May 22 evening concert at the funky Baxter Theatre showcases student big bands. Earlier that afternoon, NuGenerations gave a free public concert, and then we scattered: Saundra and I joined in the inaugural meeting of "Sisters in Sound" and talked/worked with young women music students/musicians, while Lonnie & Quincy conducted a bass & drum workshop.
Free afternoon concert & workshops by NuGenerations at UCT...
Sisters in Sound workshop...
Evening concert in Baxter Theatre:
UCT musicians sit in w/NuGenerations
Would you believe one of the major community radio stations in Capetown is called...BUSH Radio? Nigel Vermaas (one of their stalwart DJs who has been around to see a lot of great musicians and hear their music) was kind enough to interview NuGenerations and the US Public Affairs Officer Mark Canning for his show on May 22, Friday morning.
Nigel and Helen after the interview...
Down in the Victoria & Alfred waterfront district, there was the high-end V & A mall along with a bustling promenade area. Enjoy this free concert excerpt!
Quincy said the fringe of trees on the mountain crest looked like a line of elephants...coool.
Cape-Tonians call the clouds that often enshroud the surrounding peaks a tablecloth.