20 - February - 2019

Lorraine Klaasen

Afro - Afro Beat - World
From Montreal, Quebec


Lorraine Klaasen, the daughter of legendary South African Jazz singer Thandie Klaasen, is one of the few South African artists who have preserved the classic sound of ‘Township Music', which continues to be the most distinctive sound to come out of South Africa. Born and raised in Soweto, Lorraine has electrified audiences worldwide with her dynamic stage presence and showmanship.

Lorraine was influenced by South Africa’s musical giants of the 1950’s and 1960’s, such as Miriam Makeba (who was a close friend of Lorraine's and her mother), Dolly Rathebe, Dorothy Masuka, Sophie Mgcina and Busi Mhlongo who frequented her mother’s home. Lorraine’s musical career started at an early age in the 1970’s when she would accompany her mother to live performances all over Southern Africa including the neighbouring states of Mozambique and Swaziland. It wasn’t long after that she branched out on her own and got into musical theatre which took her across Europe and eventually ended up in Montréal, Canada where she has been living for over two decades.

In Montreal, Lorraine Klaasen has embraced the rich musical cultures of Québec, French speaking Africa, Haiti and the rest of the Caribbean whose musicians she has collaborated with on her successful tours of Europe, North America and the Caribbean. In the late 1980’s and throughout the 1990’s, Lorraine recorded several albums which included two popular songs titled “Bayasilandela” and Kudala ndikulindile”. Both songs were in the Zulu language of South Africa. A singer, songwriter, dancer and choreographer, Lorraine sings in several languages including Zulu, Sotho, Xhosa, Lingala, English and French. 

In February 2008, Lorraine released the highly charged album Africa Calling on the Justin Time label.  Through working with South African record producer Mongezi Chris Ntaka, who was lead guitarist and music director for Lucky Dube for ten years, and featuring bassist Bakhiti Khumalo who also memorably performed on Paul Simon’s landmark album, Graceland, Lorraine has accomplished her childhood dreams of taking Township music to the rest of the world and making a truly African record that touches every heart & soul that beats the world over. Africa Calling takes over from where other global heavyweight musical giants have left off.

Her latest CD - A Tribute to Miriam Makeba - is an tribute to the legendary songstress,  who remains the most important female vocalist to emerge out of South Africa. Hailed as the 'Empress of African Song' and 'Mama Africa', she helped bring African music to a global audience in the '60s. In a fitting homage, Lorraine and her band do 'Auntie' Miriam justice with energetic and heartfelt renditions of South African classic and traditional folk songs, including those that Miriam Makeba brought to the masses, as well as Lorraine's own compositions inspired by the lady herself.

*Lorraine recently received a Juno Award nomination for Tribute to Miriam Makeba (World Music Album of the Year).

"The music of Miriam Makeba has been a part of my life since I was a very young girl - in fact in 1961 my Mother Thandi Klaasen and 'Auntie' Miriam traveled to London from South Africa together to perform in the musical "King Kong."   I was deeply inspired by both of these great ladies, and embarked on my own career at an early age.  Many years later (1987) I was thrilled to find myself sharing the bill with Miriam Makeba at the Mama Africa Festival in Holland!  I told her then that one day I would like to record some of her songs - Pata Pata, The Click Song, Jolinkomo to name a few, and she said to me "just do it your way baby."   So I did!  This CD is a tribute to 'Auntie' Miriam Makeba to honor her and to share with you my own compositions as well as South African classic songs, folk ballads (Lakutshon Ilanga), upbeat mbaqanga (Unomeva), traditional (Jolinkomo) and more." 


- Lorraine Klaasen




Listen to MP3s

Watch A Video


Centennial Park - Beaconsfield, Quebec Canada - Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception - St. George, Other Grenada - Sunday, April 28, 2013

Band Members

Lorraine Klaasen - Vocals


Jim West
Wild West Artist Management
Email: jimwest@justin-time.com
Phone: (514) 738-9533 ext.
5524 Saint-Patrick Street, Suite #580 Montreal, Quebec
Canada, H4E 1A8


A Tribute To Miriam Makeba
Justin Time Records Inc., 2012

Africa Calling
Justin Time Records Inc., 2008