Thursday, March 5, 2009

Freshlyground Co-Founder Moves On

For those who have enjoyed the South Africa Afro-pop band Freshlyground, it's sad to see that one of the founding members, keyboardist Aron Turest-Swartz, has decided to move on (see gentle announcement of "new band member" here: I met Aron several years back writing about the band's remarkable, and remarkably unintentional, knack for crossing South Africa's still strict racial lines ( He was so mellow, so Zen-like, that I had trouble at first believing he was a rock star. The best part is, so did he. The only time he lost that persona was during the stage performances of their biggest hit, "Doo Be Doo," (for the uninitiated, much cooler than the title sounds:, when Aron would come out from behind the keyboard and dance like a madman, complete with a few Zulu kicks. The crowd always went wild.
Luckily, the band's creative core, and especially dazzling lead singer Zolani Mahola, are still there, so I don't expect a dropoff in quality as the freshlyground begins work on its fourth album. And happily, Aron seems happy to spend more time with his wife and their young son after years of greuling, nearly constant travel. But I'll miss Aron's vibe, and I'll miss those Zulu kicks!
If you are a fan, or just want to shout-out to Aron, please hit "comments" below.

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