Rocco to rock Bay

FLAMBOYANT pianist and entertainer Rocco de Villiers will give his Port Elizabeth fans a tantalising taste of "country with class" at his concert at the Vodacom amphitheatre at the Boardwalk in Port Elizabeth tonight.

Although the show will mostly feature tunes from his 2013 album, Stunning, and from highly successful earlier albums, Beautiful Beautiful Piano and More Beautiful Piano, De Villiers says he will also include two items from Country Keys.

This is the new album he has recently finished recording and which will be released in a month's time.

"Never before in South Africa has a Hawaiian guitar sounded so sexy and so cool," De Villiers said yesterday, shortly after arriving in the city.

"Think country with a full orchestra, strings, beautiful arrangements. And it's all live instrumentation – real music played by real people and not just created in the 'mind' of a computer. I've taken classics like Patsy Cline's Crazy and given them my own interpretation."

The celebrity instrumentalist will also lead couples on a romantic musical journey tonight, as the show has a Valentine's theme.

Following last night's show in Uitenhage and tonight's in Port Elizabeth, he will perform at Queens Casino in Queenstown tomorrow night and at Hemingways in East London at 8pm on Saturday.

De Villiers said touring in the Eastern Cape was always a pleasure: "People are genuinely friendly and always so appreciative of a great performance."

He will be back in the Eastern Cape next year as part of a whopper of a concert tour planned in celebration of his 50th birthday.

"My birthday is on January 3 and I intend staying in Joburg and relaxing – no big party or anything."

Instead, he said, 2015 would be a celebratory year with a national concert tour and also a new book on cocktails – De Villiers's other famous forte.

Tonight's concert starts at 7.30pm and will include songs such as Final Countdown, Music Box Dancer, Edelweiss, You Raise Me Up and other favourites. He will also play music from his own pen while sharing the stories and inspiration behind them.

De Villiers's performance will be in both English and Afrikaans, and CDs and DVDs will be available at the door.

Tickets for the Boardwalk concert start from R100 and are available from Hellen on (041)365-0217, or at the door. For more information about the show, which starts at 7.30pm, contact Anton on 083-760-0609.

Tickets for the East London show at Venue@Hemingways are R120 at Computicket; this concert will see De Villiers accompanied by Robert Mitchley on guitar, and Marie-Victoire Cumming and Maretha van der Walt on violin. Tickets for the Queenstown show are sold out.