The grand dame of burlesque is back, this time at a premier Mother City ...
Abdullah Ibrahim plays solo at Cape Town Waterfront art gallery
International jazz legend performs a series of piano concerts at the Everard Read Gallery
The Everard Read Gallery at the V&A Watefront in Cape Town is proud to host the famous jazz musician, Abdullah Ibrahim, for a series of one-man piano concerts from Tuesday, 18 September until Saturday, 22 September 2012.
Otherwise known as Adolphes Johannos Brand or, more endearingly, as “Dollar Brand”, the brilliant maestro is fresh from performances in Canada and is soon to be off to Tokyo, but first, he’s playing to his home crowd.
The Cape Town born, internationally acclaimed pianist and composer is renowned as one of the founders of the sub-genre, Cape Jazz. To say his music and influence is legendary is as much of an understatement as calling Ibrahim a mere musician – he is an artist. Thus, it is most fitting that he shall mesmerise audiences with his moving and spiritual compositions in the midst of the visual aesthetics of an art gallery.
Though he’s most often associated with big jazz bands, Abdullah Ibrahim’s style is eclectic, evidence of his broad range of influences. He plays with soul, and having experienced life in Cape Town during Apartheid as well as overseas in Europe and America (where he played with an endless list of big name musical influences) his soul has a lot to say.
For example: "We played a lot of boogie woogie back then. It had structure very similar to our native songs. We never regarded the music as foreign; it was just the music of our brothers and sisters in another part of the world. And in our corner there were great piano players: they didn't play jazz however; they played tradition...pure African tradition."
Needless to say, though vastly experienced and educated, Ibrahim has not forgotten his roots. When speaking about his traditionally inspired music he explained that in his early days as a musician, not many musicians took it seriously,
“It was regarded as the music of people with no education. Many people were unaware of the complexity until we played Mannenberg. We were almost the first to improvise with traditions. You can’t sell tradition if you don’t live it. If you live it you must evolve it,” he goes on to say more concretely.
Ibrahim’s vision in performing the concerts at the Everard Read Gallery and his reason behind organising, producing and paying the costs involved, is to educate South Africans on the culture of classical solo piano and other traditional instruments.
“When I first started playing, I played solo. The idea of playing these concerts is to introduce this genre to South African audiences,” he explains. “Ultimately, location doesn’t matter. To connect with the audience requires absolute sincerity. When I play, I can feel every person in the audience.”
Tickets to listen to this musical-prophet play are available through Computicket for R250 p/p. Seats are limited, so early booking is advised.
Use our events section for an up-to-date overview of happenings in Cape Town. Also, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, join our Google+ circle and check out our Pinterest boards for updates.
By Aisling Holmes