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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Julian Bahula (Order of Ikhamanga) (born 13 March 1938) is a South African drummer, composer and bandleader, based in Britain.[1][2]


Sebothane Julian Bahula was born in Eersterust, Pretoria. He first gained a reputation as a drummer in the band Malombo.[3] He migrated to England in 1973 and subsequently formed the group Jabula,[4] which in 1977 combined with the group of saxophonist Dudu Pukwana to form Jabula Spear.[2] Another later project for Bahula was the band Jazz Afrika. In the 1980s he played with Dick Heckstall-Smith’s Electric Dream ensemble.

As Eugene Chadbourne of AllMusic has written: "Bahula has been as tireless a promoter of the music of his homeland in his adopted country as he is an on-stage rhythm activator. One of his most important moves was establishing a regular Friday night featuring authentic African bands at the London venue The 100 Club.[5] He booked a lot of musicians who were also political refugees; his series began to symbolize a movement for change. Players such as Fela Kuti, Miriam Makeba, and Hugh Masekela were among the performers whose early British appearances were organized by Bahula."[3]

With the Anti-Apartheid Movement, Bahula organised in 1983 African Sounds, a concert at Alexandra Palace to mark the 65th birthday of Nelson Mandela, drawing a 3,000-strong audience and raising the international profile of Mandela and other political prisoners.[5]

In 2012, President Jacob Zuma presented Bahula with the Order of Ikhamanga (Gold).[6]


  1. ^ “Musicians born in March”, JazzLife.
  2. ^ a b "13 March — Julian Bahula", All Jazz Radio.
  3. ^ a b Eugene Chadbourne, Julian Bahula biography, Music.
  4. ^ "Jabula", Strut Records, 21 October 2014.
  5. ^ a b Clyde Macfarlane, "Jabula Happiness: Julian Bahula Interviewed", The Quietus, 21 January 2015.
  6. ^ Ntando Makhubu and Mogomotsi Magome, "Jazz legend no longer an unsung hero", Pretoria News, 4 May 2012.

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This page was last edited on 5 December 2018, at 12:23
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