Paul Simon Born in 1941
“Taken together, the songs can sometimes open doors to the points of intersection of cultures and politics, too,” Bregović says of Paul Simon’s luminous album Graceland.
To discover Paul Simon
American singer-songwriter Paul Simon was half of the famous duo Simon & Garfunkel, which he formed with Art Garfunkel before embarking on a solo career in 1971.
The album Graceland (1986) is his biggest solo success. It revolutionized world music and put Paul Simon back at the forefront of the scene after several commercial failures. While driving down the road one day, listening to a tape of South African music a friend had lent him, Paul Simon was seized with a passion for the richness of mbaqanga, or “township jive.” After touching upon gospel, blues, jazz and reggae, Paul Simon decided to record an album with local musicians in South Africa, in particular the guitarist Ray Phiri and his group Stimela as well as Ladysmith Black Mambazo. With this project, Simon took his work in a new direction and redefined the borders of world music. With its melodies, tempos and African choirs, Graceland triumphs and transcends genres, as did the album’s tour, featuring Miriam Makeba and Hugh Masekela.