Ibrahim to headline Bay jazz extravaganza

Herald Reporter

JAZZ legend Abdullah Ibrahim has assembled some of the world’s finest jazz musicians for two “unforgettable concerts” in Port Elizabeth in October.

Ibrahim, his Ekaya band and the Jazz Orchestra Big Band are performing at the Opera House and he is promising something special.

“I am humbled to be performing a new composition called Mendi Road – New Brighton, which is a tribute to the vibrant Port Elizabeth township where I stayed after my 1959 Music Indigenous Tour when I played with Themba Dambuze Mdledle, the leader of jazz group Manhattan Brothers,” he said.

“The Eastern Cape has always been a major powerhouse for jazz and heritage, producing a prolific stream of great musicians throughout the decades. As a composer-pianist one always hears the music in greater context: trio, septet, symphonic and of course big band, which is one of the most creative formats in jazz.”

Known as Dollar Brand before he converted to Islam, Ibrahim has enjoyed a career that has lasted more than 50 years. He has worked with many South African and global jazz legends and created movie soundtracks.

He performed with Miriam Makeba and founded the first noteworthy jazz band in Africa, the Jazz Epistles, in the early 1960s and later moved to Europe where he was discovered by Duke Ellington in 1965, and taken to New York. Ibrahim, whose most well-known composition is Mannenberg, will perform some of his best-loved compositions from his albums, African River, Bombella, and Ekaya Sotho Blue.

The concerts will be held on October 18 and 19.

Ibrahim and the Jazz Orchestra Big Band will also be running a free three-hour workshop for aspiring musicians, which will examine improvisation, practice and scale techniques.

The workshop is being held at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University on October 19.

Bookings for the master class are on a first come, first serve basis.

To book, contact Marysa Leukes on 073-183-2755 or e-mail jazzorchestra@iburst.co.za

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