Jorge Henriques on residency at International Library of African Music
Angola >> South Africa
The International Library of African Music (ILAM) at Rhodes University is very pleased to offer a residency to Jorge Henriques, a musician from Angola. The aim of this exchange is to develop ILAM’s footprint in Lusophonic Africa and to expose the archive’s mission to musicians from the entire continent.
Founded in 1954 by Hugh Tracey, ILAM is one of the world’s great repositories of African music. A research institution devoted to the study of music and oral arts in Africa, it preserves thousands of historical recordings going back to 1929 and supports contemporary fieldwork.
Lee Watkins, an Ethnomusicologist at Rhodes University explains that “inviting Jorge Henriques here will facilitate our understanding of music in Lusophonic Africa as well as exposing Angolan musicians to the possibilities of research and the archiving of our imperiled music heritage. We hope to achieve a long–lasting relationship which would lead to more collaboration through performance, archiving, and research. One of our goals is to develop new knowledge and this visit will definitely help in that regard.”
Lee has extensive experience in research, teaching, archiving, writing and developing networks for research and performance. In the past 3 years he has successfully hosted musicians from Uganda and Mozambique (Venancio from Mozambique was able to visit in 2018 thanks to an ANT Mobility grant). These musicians now form a vital part of the ILAM network to the extent that they will both commence with Masters degrees at Rhodes University in 2020. This performance–based network coincides with the research based one which Lee has been developing with scholars in Ghana, Nigeria, and Tanzania.
Jorge Henriques is a hungu (harp) performer and is well-known in Angola. ILAM has several harps from other parts of the continent except from Angola. His visit will help ILAM develop new knowledge about this instrument and its repertoire. Jorge is an activist musician and cultural researcher. He took his first steps in music while still very young, accompanying his uncles in the carnival group, União Fineza do Kuanza Sul. He is passionate about ancestral instruments such as Dikanza, Hungu, Puita, Mukimdu, Kisanji, and others. In 2002, Jorge created the Nguami Maka group of Ancestral Music with emphasis on the Hungu instrument. In 2008 Jorge released an album called ‘Ngongo’ with ungu music and since then he has been performing and teaching around much of the world. In addition to the music of activism and investigation of the immense Angolan and African ancestral culture and tradition, Jorge also devotes part of his time to the transmission of knowledge inherent to ancestral instruments.
During his residency at ILAM Jorge will be conducting workshops, have rehearsals and performances at Rhodes University in Makhanda (Grahamstown), Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth, the University of Fort Hare in East London, and Walter Sisulu University in Umthatha.