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Sharon Katz





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Acoustic Guitar;Keyboards;Percussion

Sharon Katz & The Peace Train


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Oct 11, 2023

Sharon Katz


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South African musician, music therapist and humanitarian, Sharon Katz was born in Nelson Mandela Bay / Port Elizabeth, South Africa, during the Apartheid era, and spent her teenage years going illegally to black townships near her home to visit activists and actors, like her friend John Kani, now world famous for his Tony Awards and roles in hit movies like “Black Panther”. She was a self-taught guitarist and singer since age 11 and spent her youth playing music in her local Jewish community and Folk Clubs. Sharon acquired a master’s degree in Music Therapy from Temple University in Philadelphia. After working in the prisons, schools and mental health programs of Philadelphia, Sharon returned home to South Africa in 1992 and created a 500 voice multi-cultural choir to perform and spread a message of unity in the country. They subsequently performed for Nelson Mandela and then mounted a tour around South Africa with 150 singers and musicians on a train which they called, “The Peace Train”, living together and performing Sharon’s original musical production to help prepare the country for peaceful elections. Ladysmith Black Mambazo traveled on this tour with Sharon and were featured in her concerts along with other prominent South African musicians who were in Sharon’s band. In 1995 Sharon toured the USA for 5 weeks with her ten- piece band and 30 members of the choir. The tour included a performance at Epcot Center Disneyworld and New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival where over 100,000 people attended the concert at Congo Square Stage. Since the original ride of The Peace Train across South Africa in 1993, Sharon has continued spreading a message of peace and reconciliation around the world through performances, seminars, workshops, residencies and cultural collaborations. She performed with legendary South African singers Miriam Makeba, Dolly Rathebe and Abigail Kubekea; and with USA social activist Pete Seeger.
Sharon Katz

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