Praise for a legend
Newsflash 15th of January 2024
“Chico António, beloved Mozambican music legend, dies at 66”
Politicians from his motherland Mocambique sing Chico’s praise – quoted here:
Former president of Mozambique Armando Guebuza stated the status and importance of Chico António on social media.
“Your music also strengthened our identity and our pride in being Mozambican. You will live forever in our memory. Rest in peace, friend Chico,” Guebuza wrote.
“He was an artist who gave us a lot of joy, especially in our roots music,”
The Minister of Culture of Mozambique, Eldevina Materula, stated that he left “marks and assets” that will deserve the attention of future generations.
“We are in shock because we still believed that Chico had a lot to contribute with his art to enrich Mozambican culture,” is the government official’s online message.
Born 1958 in Maputo, Chico António’s are part of two Mozambican music bands: Grupo RM and Orquestra Marrabenta.
Baila Maria, with Mozambican singer Mingas – won a prize from Radio France Internacional, a award that earned him a scholarship in Paris.
Chico’s message about music and respect resonates in my head when I looked at a an interview by Lungelo Mntambo from 2016.
CHICO ANTONIO & THE FOREST JAM
STRAIGHT OUT’ A PAPER SERVIETTE
A sketch on a serviette over a pre-concert drink with Fabio Meier at MOODS in Zurich became Forest Jam.
The first gathering took place in 2014 in the Swiss mountains. Matthias’s dad found us a FOREST camp where everybody was free to JAM with their masters.
In 2016 CHICO ANTONIO and MADALA KUNENE joined Forest Jam Southern Africa, an international non-profit organisation that brought together musicians from different generations, backgrounds & cultures. Forest Jam’s goal was to unite experienced with inexperienced young artists (both local and international) to experience art and make music together.
The organisation was based on a holistic experience, which means they not only exchanged creative ideas and made music together but had to overcome cultural differences and age-related reservations. The cultural exchange allowed an outstanding experience for young artists. Participants gained insight to the traditions of the respective region where some of the finest Legends like Chico Antonio, Madala Kunene, Bernard Mndaweni or Olombelo Ricky, Lesiba Frank Magongwa, Bafana Nhlapo, Michiel Westerhuiz and Rolf Schimmermann were teaching or participated in tours and events of traditional and contemporary music.
ITAMAR TRAVELS TO MAPUTOMADALA KUNENE and Matthias Abaecherli were invited by Itamar Weiss to join Chico Antonio and Matchume Zango for some recordings in Maputo followed by a gig in Joburg. The chemistry was there and the music was tight so when the other members of Forest Jam met for the 2016 tour rehearsals they had a lot fun.
THE AMBASSADOR WHO LOVED THE SHRINE
The newly appointed Swiss Ambassador to South Africa Madam Helene Budliger Artieda attended a 2015 gig at The Orbit in Joburg.
She was sufficiently impressed by the Forest Jam collaboration with Chico Antonio, Madala Kunene working with young Swiss musicians. Later I learned that during the years of work in the diplomat core the teams used to go out on weekends to watch Fela Kuti at the Shrine or Los Van Van in some club in Havana – WISH I WAS THERE………
EDUCATION ON THE MOVE
Ambassador Helene Budliger Artieda went on to help sponsor events of the educational Non Profit Organisation enabling Forest Jam to tour with Madala Kunene and Chico Antonio presenting a.o. Matchume Zango, Matthias Abaecherli, Fabio Meier, Jul Dillier, Cyrill Michel Bernard Sbu Mndaweni and trio Sa Roy from Madagascar.
THE ORBIT – a live venue and Bistro in the fashionable district of Braamfontein started in March 2014 and for a few years offered the best platform for jazz musicians in Johannesburg. Many well-travelled Jazz fans claim that THE ORBIT was the best club on African soil at that time. Thanks to Aymeric Péguillan for the great time we all had at your beautiful venue.
The second Forest Jam live concert at The Orbit in 2016 was recorded and is available on all major music platforms and filmed by LunGelo & Tolo Pule’s team.
The footage is available on YouTube and if you like more in-depth information please check this video link and the line up
Albums and Videos with Chico Antonio and Forest Jam
CHICO IN THE REMIX 2023
Episode 1 of Moses Remixes features a Master Mix by DJ Duo Deeper Kings’ with an interpretation of Wa Mpona Maputo (Forest Jam Version).
The arrangements of the reinterpreted version by the FOREST JAM BAND are credited to Jul Dillier. Vocals by the late Chico Antoino and Cyril Michel. Partly recorded at Matchume Zango’s studios in Maputo MOZ. Sessions in Durban feature additional overdubs by Moses’ son Zoe Molelekwa on additional keyboard. Additional vocals by Lungiswa Plaatjies, Moses Taiwa Molelekwa and Shaluza Max.