Jazz master Abdullah Ibrahim on his latest album, 3. : World Cafe : World Cafe Words and Music Podcast One of South Africa's greatest jazz musicians joins us to talk about his latest work and embarking on a world tour as he turns 90 years old.

On his latest album, Abdullah Ibrahim hears the world in many 'different colors'

Abdullah Ibrahim on World Cafe

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Abdullah Ibrahim Marina Umari/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Marina Umari/Courtesy of the artist

Abdullah Ibrahim

Marina Umari/Courtesy of the artist

In today's session, we have a very special guest: one of jazz's great ambassadors and, perhaps, the finest jazz pianist to hail from South Africa.

Abdullah Ibrahim, who was born in Cape Town in 1934, played with Hugh Masekela in The Jazz Epistles. Together, they became the first Black artists to record a jazz album in South Africa, under pressure from the apartheid government no less.

In the '60s, Ibrahim left South Africa due to apartheid, and a chance connection with Duke Ellington launched his international career. He recorded under the stage name Dollar Brand for many years, before he converted to Islam and took on the name Abdullah Ibrahim.

Now, as the composer and pianist turns 90 years old, he's set to embark on a world tour. As busy as ever, Ibrahim has just released a massive double album, recorded in London, called 3. He joins us to look back on his remarkable career, from ignoring the demands of the South African government to working with Ellington and finding form in the formless.

This episode of World Cafe was produced and edited by Miguel Perez. Our senior producer is Kimberly Junod and our engineer is Chris Williams. Our programming and booking coordinator is Chelsea Johnson and our line producer is Will Loftus.

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