Jazz is not just music, according to singer Nina Simone. "It’s a way of life, a way of being, a way of thinking." It is unsurprising, then, that this genre has been "woke" since before wokeness was coined – probably by Harlem author William Melvin Kelley in his 1962 essay, If You’re Woke You Dig It. The Oxford English Dictionary explained the term in its update in June 2017: "Originally: well-informed, up-to-date. Now chiefly: alert to racial or social discrimination and injustice." At the 2018 Cape Town International Jazz Festival, a group of veteran South African players foregrounded historic and current wokeness in the Liberation Project, revisiting and revisioning songs of protest. It’s a foretaste of an international collaborative album (co-produced by English musician Phil Manzanera) that will launch in May. As reedman and one vocalist of the Cape Town concert, Sipho "Hotstix" Mabuse, explained: "Music has always been at the forefront and the arts still need to ask ‘who are we...

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