Lorraine’s dynamic stage presence and showmanship have captivated fans of World Music, Jazz and African music throughout North America, the Caribbean and Europe for many years. In fact, she is a virtual embodiment of cultural diversity. Performing in English, French, Swahili, Zulu, Xhosa, Lingala, Greek and Hebrew, as well as over twelve African dialects, audiences have been spellbound by her winning combination of humour, charisma and savoir faire.
Musicologist, singer and choreographer, Lorraine is highly adept at conveying emotion through movement and dance, an integral and distinctive expression of African song. Her productions present the finest African rhythms. “Living in Canada and playing with musicians from the Diasporas of the Caribbean, Haiti and Quebec has informed my art and enlarged my music tremendously,” says Lorraine. Her upbeat musical style manages to embrace a myriad of cultures at once, while her exuberance and infectious style often result in a captive audience; inevitably they’re shouting loudly for more after the last notes are played.
In 2007, Lorraine signed with Justin Time Records, after auto-producing her recordings for many years. A recording was produced in February 2008, produced by Mongezi Ntaka, ex-guitarist of Lucky Dube, and featuring bassist Bakhiti Khumalo, who also memorably performed on Paul Simon’s landmark album, Graceland. The artistic concept of the album (Africa Calling) was to record traditional South African Township music, including eight original songs and four covers of South African standards of the 1950s and 1960s, to reiterate that Lorraine Klaasen is as original as any South African artist. The repertoire is sung in Zulu and Sotho, but there was also one track translated into French to help reach a wider audience.
Favourite quote? Music is a gift to be shared.
Given the chance, what would you love to do that you haven’t done yet? Sing and dance again and again.
Who inspires you? Love is the best inspiration.
Why do you do what you do? Because I love it!