Johannesburg – The SABC on Wednesday morning reported that South African jazz legend, Ray Phiri had died.
The 70-year-old musician suffered from lung cancer and had recently been admitted to a hospital in Nelspruit.
In an interview with The Sowetan earlier this month Phiri asked for space and privacy during his sickbed. He told the newspaper: “Let me suffer [in peace with my] pain, on my own with my dignity.”
Phiri – a jazz, fusion and mbaganga musician – was born on 23 March 1947 near Nelspruit , Mpumalanga. He was a founding member of the Cannibals in the 1970s. Later, the Cannibals would grow in size and rename themselves, becoming the hugely influential Afro-fusion band Stimela.
“Music is spiritual. It provides healing and reflection, and it should add value. Emotion should shine through, and a healthy respect for the audience is required,” Phiri told City Press in a recent interview.
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