Internationally acclaimed techno master Richie Hawtin makes his South African debut this month at a series of socially conscious events, as the ambassador for Bridges for Music. The non-profit organisation aims to increase opportunities through music and create positive change in disadvantaged areas across the world.
Hawtin will join local icon Black Coffee at electronic music workshops and master classes at the Guga S'thebe Arts & Cultural Centre in Langa, Cape Town, on Thursday, February 14 and at the Kliptown Youth Centre in Soweto on Saturday, February 16. The aim is to create a cultural and creative exchange by using music as a tool to empower and bridge the gap by local and international icons. Music is a universal language that knows no boundries to ones gender, race or social situation.
DJs attending the workshops will be mentored by Hawtin and DJ Black Coffee. The initiative will support selected local DJ schools and explore opportunities for South Africa's many turntable aces.
Also joining the workshop mentor programme is Drum and Bass local artist Niskerone and Vinny da Vinci. Vinny da Vinci has been praised as one of the most important figures on the South African music scene, and has helped galvanize deep club culture in his various capacities.
Hawtin will also be performing at the second annual Cape Town Electronic Music Festival at the V&A Waterfront on Friday, February 15 and the following night at Truth Club in Midrand Gauteng. Both events are contributing R10 per ticket towards Bridges for Music initiatives.
As a Bridges for Music ambassador, Hawtin is committed to using music to cross geographical and social divides, enhance opportunities and to provide a contact point between the younger generation of DJs and seasoned artists from the global dance music circuit.
"I believe music can play a crucial role in raising awareness of social issues and artists should have a responsibility to give something back. This is why I was inspired to be a part of the Bridges for Music concept."
Black Coffee agrees: "Music is a driving force for change in South Africa. There is an entire generation emerging that sees a way to make a life in music and to create their own industry. A project like Bridges for Music is a valuable addition to our landscape."
Bridges for Music is an international non-profit organisation focused on the responsible development of electronic music in disadvantaged areas across the world. It is currently gathering key players in the music industry to support this development. SAE, the biggest provider of creative media eduction in the world, has come on board as the educational partner and will be providing a number of scholorship oportunities to young people involved with Bridget for Music projects. Red Bull studios have also partnered with Bridges for Music and will play an instrumental and key role in making the workshop and mentorship pargrammes a success.
Says Bridges for Music director Valentino Barrioseta: "We believe that the global music industry has a big responsibility in its development in countries like South Africa, facing big socio-economic issues but with an enormous music potential. We want Bridges for Music to be a joint venture of everyone in the music industry sharing this ethos, willing to give back and leave a legacy through music."