Big bash for premier music venue’s birthday

2009-09-12 14:01

FOR 15 years, the Bassline in ­Newtown has been a driving force behind the careers of many prominent South African musicians.

From Lira, Gang Of Instrumentals and HHP to Vusi Mahlasela and Paul Hanmer, the venue has played an integral part in the South African music industry. This week the ­legendary establishment celebrates its coming of age.

It was started by Brad Holmes in September 1994 to offer a venue for bands and musicians he admired.

Initially on 7th Street in Melville, Bassline housed musical greats such as Abdullah Ibrahim, Ernest Ranglin and Terence Blanchard, but eventually Holmes decided to ­re-launch Bassline in Newtown’s ­Cultural Precint at what was ­formerly known as the Mega Music Warehouse.

The move took place in 2005, and today the Bassline is still one of Joburg’s trendiest spots.

Holmes says: “Ensuring that the Bassline played a role in South ­African music was a conscious ­decision. It is totally what I wanted as a free South African back in those days. It was giving back and making music work for everyone.”

Apart from individual artists who have played at the Bassline, the ­venue has also been home to a number of festivals including the Joy of Jazz, Moshito Music ­Conference, Arts Alive and Urban Voices.

It has also paid homage to great veterans of the industry who have passed on. The memorial services of legends such Lucky Dube, pioneering music promoter and Philip Tabane’s manager Arabi Mocheke and filmmaker Dumisani Dlamini have been held at the Bassline.

?To keep the Bassline spirit going, the venue has decided to launch a music bursary for aspiring musicians. Holmes says that this is a way of giving back to the community and he hopes it will grow every year.

Musicians will perform for free at certain events and the proceeds from ticket sales will go into the ­bursary fund.

To celebrate the birthday, YFM has teamed up with Bassline for a bash on September 18.

The line-up includes Mahlasela, McCoy Mrubata, HHP, Bleksem and Gang Of Instrumentals.

Tickets cost R150 at the door.

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