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Johannesburg : Hugh Masekela, Simphiwe Dana and BLK JKS head a stellar line-up of music talent for the upcoming Musicians and Artists Assistance Programme of South Africa (MAAPSA) fundraiser.

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From the Press Release: “Taking place on Saturday May 7th at the Big Top Arena at Carnival City, the multi-artist event gives music fans the opportunity to be part of a fantastic night of live music whilst also raising funds for one of the most crucial support organisations for musicians all over the country. Says Masekela, “The one thing that I think all musicians who have recovered from addiction of any kind have found is that support from people who understand the specific challenges of addiction in the entertainment industry was crucial in helping them emerge into sobriety. Alcohol and drug dependence are destroying our great nation.”MAAPSA was created more than 12 years ago after Masekela’s public disclosure of his past addiction — which in turn inspired others in similar situations. Says Masekela, “We have had a significant impact over the years in providing different kinds of support to musicians and others in need. Although we were initially given funding for MAAPSA we have had to find sustainable ways of continuing our work, without relying only on funders — and our annual fundraising concert is a key way of doing this.”In typical Masekela-style, the veteran performer and songwriter is using the annual MAAPSA fundraiser to showcase the talents of South African artists who have made an impact on the global scene — but who retain a deep connection with their homeland. Soweto’s BLK JKS have proved the band’s unique, African-rooted take on “psych-rock” is a sound beloved from Berlin to New York City. The group’s steady stream of international and South African performances mean BLK JKS live show is nothing short of scintillating.Simphiwe Dana has similarly proved her Afrocentric soul (that’s deeply rooted in the narratives and style of South Africa) can leapfrog to other audiences — in particular Europe where she regularly performs in between recording and steering her own community causes back home.With a special appearance by Kabelo — one of MAAPSA’s beneficiaries (see below) and more special guests still be announced, international music icon Masekela leading the charge, and the promise of a world-class venue, sound and lighting, the May 7th show is not-to-be-missed.Tickets for MAAPSA’s annual fundraiser with Hugh Masekela, Simphiwe Dana and BLK JKS are available from www.computicket.co.za <http://www.computicket.co.za> and priced at R200, R250 and R280.About MAAPSA:After battling his own 44-year-addictions, legendary jazz trumpeter Hugh Masekela founded MAAPSA – Musicians and Artists Assistance Programme of South Africa – as an organisation aimed at raising funds and supporting artists in their recovery. Launched in October 1998 to fight substance abuse and provide support to artists and performers in need of help and guidance to overcome addiction, MAAPSA is a non-profit organisation, that has assisted and provided counselling for many artists, including Kabelo (who will be making a special appearance with Masekela at the fundraising concert) and Tsepo Tshola. MAAPSA was founded with the assistance of Mfundi and Peter Vundla and a number of other start-up funders. MAAPSA has assisted dozens of substance abuse suffers with referrals to rehabilitation treatment centers, after care, intervention, counselling, advisory guidance lectures and fundraising campaigns to cover treatment bills and administration salaries.MAAPSA provides free advisory services to guide those who have no idea where to go for help and boasts a 70% successful recovery rate. Tickets for Hugh Masekela and Friends — the annual MAAPSA fundraiser’s ticket prices are R200, R250, and R280 and are available at www.computicket.co,za <http://www.computicket.co,za> — The MAAPSA concert is supported by the National Arts Council, (NAC) and the Gauteng’s Department of Sports, Culture and Recreation (SRAC),For more information contact: Takalane Rikhotso — Drakensberg Promotions (011) 472 4973.”

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