New York based composer, saxophonist, clarinetist, penny whistler and vocalist, Morris Goldberg recently completed recording his third album with his group, OJOYO. Mr. Goldberg grew up in Observatory, Cape Town, South Africa, and nurtured musical roots that span jazz, classical music, bebop and mbaqanga.
Well known to jazz lovers, Mr. Goldberg won popular acclaim through his featured performances on Paul Simon’s “Graceland” album. Goldberg performed with Hugh Masekela, among others, before leaving South Africa to broaden his musical horizons.
In the United States, he attended the Manhattan School of Music and regularly recorded and performed with artists such as Miriam Makeba and Harry Belafonte. He also worked with exiled South African singer, Letta Mbulu. In 1974, Mr. Goldberg returned to Cape Town and participated in Abdullah (Dollar Brand) Ibrahim’s recording, “Mannenberg”, on which he was featured. In 1991, Goldberg was featured in Hugh Masekela’s spectacular homecoming tour, “Sekunjalo”, a twenty-date road show that featured Masekela, Bayete and Sankomota.
From 1980 until 1988 Morris traveled and performed with Harry Belafonte. He appeared on three videos. The last one, “An Evening with Harry Belafonte and Friends”, was done for PBS and can still be seen on PBS stations throughout the country. Goldberg attained nationwide acclaim as saxophonist and wind specialist on “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” for the six year duration of the television show, from 1996 until 2002. During that time he accompanied many artists such as Tony Bennett, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Barry Manilow, Phil Collins and more.
In 2004 Goldberg did an extensive tour of the USA with Hugh Masekela, playing major jazz festivals and culminating in the Playboy Jazz Festival, which was recorded and aired on WBGO Newark and WLIU Southampton. In March of 2005 Goldberg performed at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival with his band “Ojoyo”. In 1993, 1994, 1998 and 1999, Goldberg returned to South Africa to perform at the Standard Bank Jazz Festival in Grahamstown. Morris remains based in New York, but retains strong links with Cape Town and its musicians