Lorraine Klaasen, the daughter of legendary South African jazz singer Thandie Klaasen, is one of the few artists who have preserved classic Township Music, which continues to be the most distinctive sound to come out of South Africa. Born and raised in Soweto, Lorraine has electrified audiences worldwide with her dynamic stage presence and showmanship. The Montreal Gazette raves: “Klaasen’s energy is infectious and it comes through in everything she touches”.
In 2008, Lorraine released the highly charged album Africa Calling, produced by South African record producer Mongezi Chris Ntaka, and featuring bassist Bakhiti Khumalo (who appeared on Paul Simon’s Graceland). Her follow-up CD, A Tribute to Miriam Makeba, won the 2013 JUNO Award for “World Music Album of the Year”. It’s a tribute to the iconic songstress, who remains South Africa’s most revered female artist.
Klaasen’s latest and most ambitious recording, Nouvelle Journée, was also co-produced by Mongezi; it showcases some of the musical styles that she has not yet recorded in her long music career. On this album, Lorraine sings in the Tsonga, Sotho, isiZulu and Xhosa languages of South Africa, as well as in English and French. It’s an optimistic and danceable work, but also lucid, sincere and engaging, with thought-provoking repertoire stressing the importance of family, empathy, love and hope.
The singer has always enjoyed a special bond with her mother, but was also brought up by a grandmother who gave her valuable advice on life. “My grandmother always said: ‘You set your own standards. Never let anyone tell you that you are raising the bar too high. Set goals for yourself, and work towards them. When you don’t succeed in reaching them, you tell yourself before you go to bed: ‘Lorraine, I tried’. Then you lay your head on the pillow and you sleep because you have a clear conscience’.” READ MORE
Lorraine Klaasen made her TD Sunfest debut in 2014. Her April 13th return performance is doubly special because it celebrates London Music Week and welcomes the former Montrealer as one of the Forest City’s newest residents.