Mzansi News

Musician Ray Phiri to be remembered in Nelspruit Memorial service

Celebrated South African jazz musician Ray Phiri is set to be honoured at a memorial service in Mbombela on Thursday.

Phiri, 70, lost his battle with lung cancer last week Wednesday, sending shockwaves through the local music industry.

The memorial service, organised by the office of the premier of Mpumalanga is expected to be held at the Mbombela Stadium.

A starting time for the memorial has not yet been announced by the premier’s office.

In a statement following his death, President Jacob Zuma called Phiri a “musical giant”.

“This is indeed a huge loss for South Africa and the music industry as a whole,” Zuma said.

He recalled Phiri’s music career as a jazz, fusion and mbaqanga artist.


Ray Phiri

Phiri was a founding member of the Cannibals, which was later joined by the late soul singer Mpharanyana.

In 2011, Zuma honoured Phiri with the Order of Ikhamanga in Silver for his contribution to the music industry.

According to SA History Online, Phiri joined the global Graceland tour, headed by American singer Paul Simon, to mobilise support for the struggle for liberation and to promote dialogue across cultures.

He later earned a Grammy for his participation in the tour

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