AWARD-WINNING theatre director James Ngcobo has teamed up with acclaimed trumpeter Hugh Masekela to produce Songs of Migration, a huge musical production.
The show, a musical tribute to the great songs of migrants across the African continent, runs at the Market Theatre, Newtown, from January 13 until February 21.
Songs of Migration is based on the original South African State Theatre production The Rehearsal: 100 years of South African Music that was staged in August this year.
The show was created by composer and lyricist Masekela and written and directed by Ngcobo.
Theatre critics regard the show as one of the biggest productions to be staged in a long time. Ngcobo, who has directed several successful shows, is expected to do well again.
Songs of Migration features the multi-talented, soulful and dynamic Sibongile Khumalo, Fana Zulu, Ntokozo Zungu, Tshepo Mngoma and Khululiwe Sithole Khanyile.
Songs of artists such as Mackay Davashe, Joseph Shabalala, Victor Ndlazilwane, Gibson Kente, Hugh Masekela, Dorothy Masuka and Miriam Makeba will be performed by a cast of talented musicians.
Songs of Migration tells compelling stories about South African music and history, and promotes African music and dance.
The story traces the discovery of minerals in Gauteng and other parts of South Africa during the late 19th century. It looks at how people started to migrate to the towns that had emerged from mining operations.
These new migrants brought with them their music, traditional costumes, musical instruments, songs, ceremonies and dance.
The prospects of work in a community where citizens could afford to pay to have a good time drew musicians to the rapidly growing city of gold, Johannesburg. They left their ancestral homes and gathered in this cosmopolitan town - assembling an extraordinary mass of musical talent.
Songs of Migration rewinds the tape and tells stories about South African music and history, and promotes African music and dance.
The production includes rich musical scenes on the train that was seen as a separator of lovers, breaking up families as it moved raw materials to and from the ports for imports and exports.
To make this production a success, choreographers such as Gregory Maqoma have been roped in.