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Mango Groove

south african south africa ethnic music thoughtful

    Mango Groove is an 11 piece Afropop group formed in Johannesburg, South Africa and fronted by lead singer Claire Johnston.

    While in her last year at school, Claire Johnston joined Mango Groove (founded in 1984 by John Leyden, who teamed up with Andy Craggs and ‘Big Voice Jack’ Lerole’). She quickly established herself as the face and voice of Mango Groove.

    For the next two decades, they had an enormous impact on the South African music scene. At the time, popular multiracial music groups were not common in South Africa and Mango Groove was seen as a symbol of unity in a country struggling to shake itself free of apartheid.

    Their unique blend of marabi, kwela and pop music, together with the voice and presence of Claire Johnston and the penny whistle of Mduduzi Magwaza, made them very popular.

    Some of the highlights of Mango Groove’s career include:

    * The direct satellite link-up to the The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert in London in 1992 to an estimated audience of a billion people.
    * Their performance in front of 200,000 people at a "Rock Against Racism" concert in Paris
    * Their performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival where they received 3 encores.


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