Collaborative calling

Plett Afrojazz Concert audience will be treated to the deeply cultural jazz showcase ‘Pan African Calling’

Pan African Calling, a musical collaboration featuring renowned artists Dave Reynolds and Pops Mohamed, Ronan Skillen and Charlton Daniels, will be one of the highlights of the Plett Afrojazz Concert which will also feature Femi Koya and the Afrobeat band.
The Plett Afrojazz Concert will be a fitting finale of the annual Plett Arts Festival which is being held in collaboration with Bitou Municipality from Monday June 25 until Monday July 9.
With more than 170 performances and a Sama-nominated album between them, Mohamed, from Jo’burg, and Reynolds, from Namibia, are joining forces again.
This time they will perform alongside Skillen, from Ireland, and Cape Town’s Daniels, in a pivotal Afrojazz collaborative show.
PAN African Calling combines the talents of these diverse musicians to bring forth a distinctive combination of jazz and world influences stretching from Africa to India and Australia in their instrumental origins.
Mohamed is considered one of South Africa’s most versatile musicians.
With a background which traces his lineage across India and Portugal, as well as deep-set Xhosa and Khoisan roots, he navigates an indigenous-contemporary-crossover sound, which has evolved from his jazz roots.Winner of the ACT Lifetime Achievers Award and with 38 albums under his belt, the traditional multi-instrumentalist plays the kora (African harp), mbira (thumb piano), Khoisan bow and a variety of percussion effects, and has worked extensively with the Khoisan people of the Kalahari.
Master of the steelpan, Samro award-winning composer and acoustic guitarist Reynolds has worked globally with the likes of Steve Newman, Andy Narell and the late Hugh Masekela and is a six-time Sama nominee. Ireland-born Skillen has travelled to Australia to learn the origins of the didgeridoo, which he first picked up at the age of 16, from the Aboriginals.
He has spent extensive time in India studying the tabla (Indian hand drum) under the tutelage of Usad Akram Khan, as well as Ghana and South Africa where he has mastered African drum-work too.
His fusion of tabla, percussion and didgeridoo has seen him perform in more than 15 countries, and alongside Rodriguez, Johnny Clegg and Freshly Ground.
When he’s not providing the integral bass backbone to Pan African Calling, Daniels can be found among the ranks of swiftly rising jazz outfit Top Dog SA or driving the Jonathan Butler band.
Pan African Calling brings together each musician’s individual talents into what is sure to be a cumulative and deeply cultural jazz showcase.
In addition to the concert, the four artists will be hosting Skhulu’z Lounge jazz workshop, in collaboration with Plett Tourism. The two-hour co-creative workshop will allow participants to determine the direction it takes – providing a platform for participants to learn from the greats through a series of group discussions and jam sessions.
Participants may bring their own instruments (if they have, but all are welcome) and take part in a unique sharing of knowledge, to develop further musical skills and cultivate an interest into the unifying aspects of world music.
The Plett Afrojazz Concert is at Central Beach at 8pm on Saturday July 7. Tickets are R150 and there will be a park-and-ride facility from the Piesang Valley Hall. There will be a cash bar, as well as a snack bar.
The workshop is also on Saturday July 7, but from 11am to 1pm, at thee Piesang Valley Hall.
Tickets are free with an Afrojazz concert ticket, or R50 at the door, and tea, coffee and light snacks are included. You may bring your own instrument.
For the full Plett Arts Festival visit www.pletttourism.com. Bookings are on the same site and season tickets are also available...

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