Following the disbanding of the Jazz Epistles in 1959, Gwangwa continued to make his presence known amongst South Africa's jazz enthusiasts. His fame spread to the United States in the mid-1960s. In 1965, Gwangwa was featured in a "Sound Of Africa" concert at Carnegie Hall, sharing the stage with Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela and Letta Mbulu. Two years later, he returned tio the United States to participate in a national tour, "The Main Event", featuring Masekela and Herb Alpert.
Despite his hefty reputation, Gwangwa remained a victim of apartheid. When the South African government passed laws making it illegal for Blacks to congregate, in the early 1970s, Gwangwa left his homeland. After touring Europe in a musical production of King Kong, he continued on to the United States, where he attended the Manhattan School of Music in New York. With the encouragement and patronage of Harry Belafonte, Gwangwa was able to.
successfully break through to American audiences. Continuing to break new ground as a composer and arranger, Gwangwa served ten years as musical director of the ANC cultural ensemble tour, "Amandla". In 1987 and 1988, he collaborated with George Fenton to compose the score for the Richard Attenborough film, Cry Freedom. In addition to being nominated for Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe awards, the film received Ivor Bovello and Black Emmy awards.
Gwangwa returned to South Africa in 1991. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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