Published on April 20th, 2021 | by Phil

The Solidarity Express releases debut album Radio Ubuntu.

The Solidarity Express is a multi-genre, multi-cultural musical collaboration between likeminded creatives from the far corners of the globe with a common goal to deliver a message of hope and unity to the world at large. The group believes that music is a constant emotively evolving art that feeds the mind, heart and soul as it continues to play a key role in driving change and creating social cohesion and harmony across all walks of life. 

The star-studded South African cast comprises of Dan Chiorboli (The Liberation Project – percussion), André Kriel (The Black Cat Bones – guitar & vocals), Mpho Koopedi (The Muffinz – keyboards & vocals), Black Moses Ngwenya (The Soul Brothers – Hammond organ), Femi Koya (Femi Koya Band – saxophone & vocals), Tebogo “AusTebza” Sedumedi (bass & vocals), Peter Djamba (DRC – drums), Justin Sasman (Bombshelter Beast – trombone, tuba, trumpet and accordion), Jack Lerole Jnr (pennywhistle) and vocalists Ann Masina (Soweto Gospel Choir), Tamani Mbeya from Malawi and Cindy Alter (Clout). Local guests include Kobus de Kock Jnr from The Black Cat Bones in a unique Afrikaans / Spanish collaborative song and David “Qadasi” Jenkins on a specially written anti-rhino poaching song with adventurer and conservationist Kingsley Holgate.

The group is then joined by some illustrious international artists by the likes of ace UK producer and guitarist Phil Manzanera (Roxy Music, David Gilmour and Pink Floyd fame), Tim Finn ex-Crowded House from New Zealand, Cuban jazz and salsa stars Michel Herrera and Madre Tierra from Havana, the “Jimi Hendrix of the kora” N’Faly Kouyate from Guinea in West Africa and our two Italian superstars – Cisco Bellotti from the Modena City Ramblers and multi award-winning rock icon and rapper Jovanotti.

Produced and conceptualized by Dan Chiorboli and Phil Manzanera with André Kriel in the co-producing seat together with industry legend John Lindemann driving the engineering, mixing and mastering responsibilities, this debut offering is loaded with character, expertise and passion, demanding the full attention of the listener while providing a full-bodied and rich sonic experience. Kriel says about this rich debut offering: “With the release of our debut Radio Ubuntu album we strongly focus on the common themes of unity, solidarity and empathy among people and nations, stylistically featuring songs in the vein of mbaqanga, gospel, afro-soul, afro-beat, highlife, rock, pop, blues, zydeco, country, reggae and even traditional boeremusiek.”

I Believe We Can Live in Harmony, the first release from the album Radio Ubuntu addresses the issues of xenophobia, immigration, poverty and integration. Its intention is to convey a positive message of reconciliation and goodwill to a world in desperate need of acceptance and co-existence. 

Our second release called The Healing written by Andre Kriel features the full Solidarity Express band and marks the official launch of the Radio Ubuntu album to the world. It fuses classic African musical styles such as kwela, afro-pop and isicathamiya in an uplifting, up-tempo feel-good delivery. Lyrically the composition features a twin metaphor speaking about the solidarity ethos of unification of people and nations globally affected by the coronavirus pandemic as well as the healing process and social cohesion still required in our own country as we recover from our broken past, with the chorus refrain stresses the mantra “let the healing begin”.

View THE Healing video here:

Stream and download the album here: 

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