Chicago’s Bill Champlin, Brooklyn Keyboardist Marco Benevento and South African Troubadour Vusi Mahlasela

BillChamplinBill Champlin is best known for being a member of Chicago, which he joined in 1981 and with whom he remained for 28 years.

His first band, The Opposite Six, was formed in 1961, while he was still in high school. Later, The Sons of Champlin formed in 1965 as a five-piece band, and later expanded to seven members. The Sons recorded seven commercially released albums between 1968 and 1977 and gained a devoted fan base.

Bill moved to L.A. to begin his solo career and also to write and record on many other artists’ albums. Bill received two GRAMMY awards for his songwriting and has released seven solo albums.

In 1997, the Sons of Champlin reformed and are performing again, whenever schedules permit. Over the past few years, the Sons have also released two live albums and a DVD, as well as their first new studio album in almost 30 years, “Hip Li’l Dreams.” For more, go to www.billchamplin.net.

Watch Bill live at 8:00 p.m. PST at www.showgo.tv/clubs/yoshissf.

MarcoBeneventobyMichaelWeintrob2After Bill’s show winds down, take a break and come back at 10 for our second show, live from LA. Marco Benevento is a pianist, organist and composer from Brooklyn, New York. He has been a member of the New York jazz and experimental music scene since 1999.

Benevento uses effected piano, Hammond Organ and Wurlitzer Electric Piano in his various bands including the Benevento Russo Duo. For more, go to http://marcobenevento.com.

Check this video out and then check Marco out at 10:00 p.m. tonight at www.showgo.tv/clubs/themintla.

vusimahlaselaFriday night, tune in for Vusi Mahlasela. Twenty years ago, the folk-singer, world-troubadour and widely celebrated poet-activist recorded his first album, When You Come Back. The title track instantly became an anthem in South Africa and Vusi soon became known as “The Voice” as his country fought hard to end the brutal Apartheid regime that had divided the country since 1948. In celebration of twenty years, ATO Records will release SING TO THE PEOPLE in January. The album was recorded live in Johannesburg at Vusi’s 20th Anniversary show of When You Come Back.

At the fall of Apartheid, Vusi was signed to Shifty Records/BMG records and finally recorded his first album—a collection of songs he’d been writing his whole life. In the title track, “When You Come Back,” he sings to his friends and the political exiles who had left the country telling them that “we will ring the bells and beat the drums when you come back” and he also calls for humanity asking that we “give something to the world and not just take from it.”

This song and its altruistic message rang loud in cars, at parties, and in the homes of both blacks and whites. It truly became an anthem. In 1994, Vusi was proud and very humbled to perform this song at Nelson Mandela’s presidential inauguration. “The Voice” was soon heard all over the world. Since the release of that first album, Vusi has traveled the globe sharing his songs of truth and hope, and sharing his country’s past and promise for a better future. Americans first caught a glimpse of him in the 2002 documentary Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony that chronicles the strength of music during the struggle against Apartheid. Shortly after the debut of the film, fellow South African Dave Matthews signed Vusi to his label, ATO Records, and released “The Voice,” a collection of songs from Vusi’s South African releases. Guiding Star and last year’s Say Africa, produced by Taj Mahal, soon followed. His albums have received mass critical acclaim and celebrated musicians have taken note of his powerful voice and message. As the LA Times puts it, Vusi is a “rare and mesmerizing musical mind.. with a voice that seems to have few limits.” Vusi has shared the stage with Dave Matthews Band, Sting, Josh Groban, Paul Simon, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Hugh Masekela, Angelique Kidjo, Bela Fleck, Ray LaMontagne, Amos Lee and many more. He’s also performed at two TED conferences, the Skoll World Forum, The Elders annual meeting, and Nelson Mandela’s 90th Birthday. For more go to http://vusimahlasela.com.

Now you can see him, exclusively on ShowGo.tv Friday, 9:00 p.m. at www.showgo.tv/clubs/themintla.

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