South African Jazz Legend Sathima Bea Benjamin Celebrates Her 71st Birthday with Concert and Reissue of Her Historic Debut Album

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Sathima Bea Benjamin celebrates her 71st Birthday at New York's Sweet Rhythm Jazz Club as well as the reissue of A Morning In Paris, her debut album featuring Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, and Abdullah Ibrahim. Recorded in 1963, the tapes to A Morning in Paris were thought to have been lost, resurfacing in the mid-1990s. Since its original release in 1997, the album has since gone out of print, now to be available for download for the first time ever.

South African jazz singer Sathima Bea Benjamin ( celebrates the reissue of A Morning in Paris--her 1963 masterpiece recorded with Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, and Abdullah Ibrahim as pianists--as well as her 71st birthday, with a performance at New York's Sweet Rhythm Jazz Club on Wednesday, October 17, 2007.

A Morning in Paris, Sathima's stunning debut album that was thought to be lost for nearly 40 years only to resurface in the mid-90s, will finally be made available for download from online vendors on October 16, with CDs hitting stores January 22, 2008. However, advance copies will be available for purchase as well as for the press at her Sweet Rhythm birthday concert this October.

Originally from Cape Town, South Africa, Grammy-nominated singer Sathima Bea Benjamin has established herself as a master interpreter of American jazz standards, having recorded with some of the most legendary figures in jazz. Her work in jazz and in support of the exiled ANC during apartheid earned her in 2004, the Order of Ikhamanga, South Africa's highest honor.

A Morning in Paris-recorded in 1963 with Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Abdullah Ibrahim on piano; Johnny Gertze on bass; and Makaya Ntshoko on drums-was thought to have been lost. However, in the mid-1990s, a tape of the session resurface, giving audiences a chance to hear this now-legendary session for the first time. In addition to being reissued with new artwork and liner notes, A Morning in Paris will also be available for download for the first time ever.

To reserve tickets for the performance, call Sweet Rhythm at 212-255-3626. Sathima will be joined at the concert by pianists Onaje Allan Gumbs and Stephen Scott, bassist Marcus McLaurine, and drummer George Gray. Sets are at 8 pm and 10 pm. $20 cover, $10 drink minimum

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