Lorraine Klaasen, eclectic performer extraordinaire, is the daughter of the famous South African singer, Thandie Klaasen, one of Nelson Mandela's favourite singers and an indisputable South African legend. Born and raised in South Africa, she has called Montreal, Canada her home since 1979. Lorraine's dynamic stage presence and showmanship have captivated fans of world music, jazz and African music throughout North America, the Caribbean and Europe for many years. In fact, Klaasen is a virtual embodiment of cultural diversity. Performing in English, French, Swahili, Zulu, Xhosa, Lingala, Greek and Hebrew, as well as over twelve African dialects, audiences are spellbound by her winning combination of humour, charisma and "savoir faire".
Musicologist, singer and choreographer, Klaasen is highly adept at conveying emotion through movement and dance, an integral and distinctive expression of African song. Her productions present the finest African rhythms. "Living in Canada and playing with musicians from the Diasporas of the Caribbean, Haiti and Quebec has informed my art and enlarged my music tremendously," says Klaasen. Her upbeat musical style manages to embrace a myriad of cultures at once. Lorraine's exuberance and infectious style often result in a captive audience; inevitably, they're shouting loudly for more after the last notes are played.
In 2007, Klaasen signed with Justin Time Records, after auto-producing her recordings for many years. A recording was produced in February 2008, produced by Mongezi Ntaka, ex-guitarist of Lucky Dube, and featuring bassist Bakhiti Khumalo, who so also memorably performed on Paul Simon's landmark album, Graceland. The artistic concept of the album ('Africa Calling') was to record traditional South African Township music, including eight original songs and four covers of South African standards of the 1950s and 1960s. The reason for balancing cover versions with original material was to reiterate that Lorraine Klaasen is as original as any South African artist. The repertoire is sung in Zulu and Sotho, but there is also one track translated into French to help reach a wider audience.
VISIT LORRAINE'S WEB SITE: www.lorraineklaasen.com
VISIT LORRAINE ON MYSPACE: www.myspace.com/lorraineklaasen
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