BRITISH saxophonist Andrew Young is in South Africa and will be performing at East London’s Guild Theatre on Friday and in Port Elizabeth on Saturday with Barkly East-born singer Beatrice Esterhuysen.
Young arrived in the country last week and has already done five shows in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).
In an interview yesterday, he said he could not wait to return to East London. “My band – who are all from KZN – and I had a fantastic time there [last year] and I can not wait to get on stage again.”
He will be bringing a blues and rock ‘n’ roll production to the city as part of his coast-to-coast tour.
“We started in KZN and will go as far as Paternoster in the Western Cape for the jazz festival at the end of February,” he said.
Last year around this time he also performed at the Guild Theatre.
“The people of East London were so friendly and welcoming. I had such a lovely evening. After the show people even stayed to chat with me.”
Young said his shows were always about bringing people together for a fun-filled event.
“People will forget what you say or do but they will never forget how you made them feel. I want them to feel good when they leave the show. My performances aren’t just about songs – I crack some jokes in between,” he said.
In East London and Port Elizabeth, Young will share his stage with Esterhuysen, who now lives in George.
Young said he believed in giving back to the community and involving other artists. “It is important to come here and expose local musicians. I choose [to work with] local musicians and invest in their careers so that they can continue when I am gone. Nation-building is important to me.”
Young said the first time he performed with Esterhuysen was last year when they met at a show in George. “She said she could sing and I asked her to join me on stage. She was brilliant and I thought, well this is great, I am going to perform with her again,” he said.
Esterhuysen, who started singing at the age of seven, said she could not wait to perform in East London. “Andrew is an extremely talented and well qualified musician and it is a great honour to share a stage with him,” she said, adding that she had had the honour of opening for artists like Magna Carta and Farryl Purkiss.
Tickets for the one-night show at the Guild Theatre are R120, available from the theatre and Computicket. On Saturday, Young will perform at the Boardwalk in Port Elizabeth.