Jazz legend dies

PHOTO: facebook Thandi Klaasen
PHOTO: facebook Thandi Klaasen

LEGENDARY jazz musician Thandi Klaasen (86) lost her battle with cancer in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Her daughter Lorraine last week revealed on her Facebook page that her mother was battling pancreatic cancer.

Klaasen is reported to have also suffered a stroke in December.

A statement issued by the Department of Arts and Culture, Minister Nathi­ Mthethwa said Klaasen will be remembered for her indomitable spirit­.

“We are saddened by the passing of our extraordinary jazz musician, Mama Thandi Klaasen.

“A great and mighty musical legend. Our condolences go to her daughter, Lorraine, and the rest of the family,” said Mthethwa.

Chairperson of the Living Legends Legacy Programme, an initiative of the Department of Arts and Culture, Welcome Msomi echoed Mthethwa’s sentiments.

“On behalf of the Living Legends Legacy Project, it is sad for the legends, people of South Africa and the world to say goodbye to our legend, Thandi Klaasen. She would want us to celebrate her journey in song and dance. RIP our legend.”

According to sahistory.org Klaasen earned respect as a singer and dancer in various churches around Sophiatown. Her musical career started in the mid-1950s when she used to perform for ten shillings.

She then started performing with groups such as the Gaieties and the Harlem Swingsters, but her career took off when she performed with Dolly Rathebe, Miriam Makeba, Dorothy Masuku and Sophie Mgcina.

Thandi’s songs range from brass to Mbaqanga. She has shared the stage with Roberta Flack and Patti Labelle, among others.

In 1976 she received the Count Pushkin award for best female vocalist.

The Congress of the People described Klaasen’s death as a devastating blow to the country and the music industry.

“Klaasen was not just an ordinary artist, she was a giant among the music giants in this country. Young and old will forever miss her golden voice and her sense of humour. We will miss her Tsotsi taal trademark of Sophiatown.”

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When assisting your child with remote learning this year, did you:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Follow the school's comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) curriculum?
14% - 418 votes
Adjust the CSE curriculum to suit the family's morals?
24% - 721 votes
Ignore the schools CSE programme and do your own teaching?
63% - 1909 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
15.20
(-0.25)
ZAR/GBP
20.40
(-0.01)
ZAR/EUR
18.42
(-0.06)
ZAR/AUD
11.29
(-0.13)
ZAR/JPY
0.15
(+0.06)
Gold
1835.48
(-0.24)
Silver
24.14
(+0.55)
Platinum
1061.00
(+3.78)
Brent Crude
48.78
(+0.95)
Palladium
2336.01
(+1.71)
All Share
59419.37
(+0.80)
Top 40
54500.04
(+0.61)
Financial 15
11646.83
(+2.17)
Industrial 25
79758.36
(+0.10)
Resource 10
57015.33
(+0.70)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo