SIOEN CALLING UP SOWETO Feat. Pops Mohamed & Khaya Mahlangu
On invitation of OXFAM's 'One Day For Another World'Sioen (2 golden record status in Belgium with his 1st 2 albums) went to the township Soweto in South Africa to set up collaboration with local musicians. He met living legend Pops Mohamed (kora, kalimba, mbira toured the world with Cat Stevens) and Khaya Mahlangu (saxophone & flute toured the world with Hugh Masekela), and together with vocal coach Stella Khumalo (toured the world with Miriam Makeba) Sioen organised an audition in the heart of Soweto to select 4 backing vocalists with an amazing voice.
During the festival 'Gentse Feesten 2008' he brought this group of musicians to Belgium and the energetic and melodic new songs made the concert a great succes and 'talk of the town'. Newspaper 'De Standaard' wrote: "We always sympathise with someone who plays a whole new repertoire in front of an audience. And Sioen succeeded with brilliance"
And so it happened. Pushed by the enthusiasm of the fans after the concert, Sioen went back to South Africa to record the album 'Calling Up Soweto' in the same studios where Paul Simon recorded his legendary 'Graceland' album.
In the meantime Sioen has been 7 times in South Africa to rehearse, record & perform. In octobre 2009 he played the biggest festival Macufe (140.000 visitors). As being the only European and white musician on stage he succeeded to move the crowd in a litteral and figurative way.
The South African musician and Sioen's so-called 'new family' were also invited to perform in Belgium. Concerts in Handelsbeurs (Ghent), Ancienne Belgique (Brussels) and festivals like Dranouter Festival & Mano Mundo confirmed the excellent critics and a Theatre Tour of 20 dates resulted in 20 consecutive standing ovations
On the 19th of March 2010 the album 'Calling up Soweto' was also released in Germany, Switzerland & Austria with excellent reviews as a result
To be continued ...