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Robin Auld Trio for De Waal Park – 17th February 2013

Robin Auld Trio

Robin Auld Trio

Robin Auld Trio

Slide guitar, harmonica, African blues guitar stylings and soul vocals all feature in the fresh and vibrant roots sound of Robin Auld.

Born in Lusaka, Zambia to Scots parents, Robin’s childhood was spent alternating between Southern Africa and Scotland; a journey reflected in the African and Celtic influences in his music. He learned to play the guitar by listening to Hendrix, Ry Cooder and Neil Young, also absorbing influences from the various guitarists of Southern Africa. Since starting to produce his own albums, his music has evolved from the pop sound of his earlier recordings to the contemporary mix of his music today.

Currently based in the UK, he has performed and recorded in New York, London, Glasgow and Nashville, opening for and performing with acts such as Lloyd Cole, Angelique Kidjo, Michelle Shocked, Jackson Brown and Seasick Steve.

His latest album, “Fingers in my Pocket”, recorded in London in late 2010, is a collection of roots and blues songs…..Robin describes it as being a ”walkin’, credit card, institutional failure, mean women and a sore head” kind of album.. African influences are never far away though, with a reggae song and even a Cape Town goema tune to pepper the mix!

Playing with him the 17th will be Schalk Joubert and Barry van Zyl.

Schalk is not only one of South Africa’s top bass players with credits with a vast array of artists, but is a bandleader in his own right with his Kayamundi project.

Barry van Zyl needs no introduction as the drummer for Johnny Clegg, and also has a CV of top SA and international collaborations.

As a trio they recorded Robin’s album “Over the Mountain”, where the free- form improvisational spirit of their live shows was captured in a collection of African blues-rock songs, and music lovers can expect a set of uplifting and engaging music on the 17th. .

www.robinauld.co.za

“Sunkissed and generous of melody” Whisperin’and hollerin’ Ireland.

A genuine and unaffected flowing together of cultural strands. ” Unpeeled UK.

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Jazz Reviews: The Wayne Shorter Quartet and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, 2/1/13 – By Jeff Tamarkin — Jazz Articles

Jazz and classical music would seem in theory to be oil and water—one is at its core an improvisatory art form that encourages individual expression; the other characteristically asks its participants to follow cues and reproduce written notation precisely. Nonetheless, jazz musicians have sought, for decades—to varying degrees of success—to find commonalities with their classical peers (and vice versa), and the pairing of the Wayne Shorter Quartet with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra promised at the very least to be intriguing for all the right reasons.

The Wayne Shorter Quartet

The Wayne Shorter Quartet

Orpheus, currently celebrating its 40 anniversary, is an unusually democratic classical ensemble, eschewing the use of a conductor and instead selecting a revolving core of musicians from within its ranks to lead each particular piece. During the first half of the program, the orchestra, on its own, demonstrated via performances of Beethoven’s “Overture to the Creatures of Prometheus” and Charles Ives’ “Symphony No. 3: The Camp Meeting” both the singularity one expects of symphonic music and a free-spiritedness that was exciting to watch.

via Jazz Reviews: The Wayne Shorter Quartet and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, 2/1/13 – By Jeff Tamarkin — Jazz Articles.

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The Great Karoo All In One Guitar Camp

The inaugural Great Karoo All In One Guitar Camp has been conceived to present local and international individuals, music institutions and university students with the opportunity of attending a series of workshops conducted by three of South Africa’s musical legends in the village of Nieu-Bethesda in the Great Karoo. All In One is comprised of Steve Newman, Errol Dyers and Hilton Schilder who first shared the stage in an improvised session at the Ubuntu Festival held to celebrate the 91st birthday of Nelson Mandela in 2009.

These three cosmic travellers have since recorded an album of the same title and have been taking audiences across the country on a musical journey which stretches from the slopes of Table Mountain, to the heart of the Kalahari, via the plains of Argentina; reflecting the quiet refrain of days gone by and touched by strains of joy and reflection.

The camp begins with a performance by All In One on Friday evening which will be followed by a meet and greet dinner of a variety of delicious potjies.
The workshops take place on Saturday and Sunday and on Saturday night the participants will have the opportunity to jam with the pros.

For those who are interested, Steve will conduct morning yoga sessions.

Various packages are available to suit every budget so please contact us on 049 841 1642 or accommodation@nieu-bethesda or www.nieu-bethesda.com

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Jazz Departments: Chuck Redd Remembers Bassist Joe Byrd: 1933 – 2012 – By Chuck Redd — Jazz Articles

Jazz Departments: Chuck Redd Remembers Bassist Joe Byrd: 1933 - 2012

Jazz Departments: Chuck Redd Remembers Bassist Joe Byrd: 1933 – 2012

Joe Byrd was a very savvy, well-read Southern gentleman whose musicianship placed him in a professional universe that I’m sure he never imagined as a boy growing up in the tiny town of Chuckatuck, Virginia. Joe spent most of his career as bassist with his brother Charlie Byrd’s trio and was as at ease as anyone I’ve ever known in any setting. Always dapper and polite, he was perfectly comfortable at a dinner at the U.S. Ambassador’s home in South Korea, onstage at Carnegie Hall or hanging out with old friends and family. Among Joe’s longtime friends were Barney Kessel and Herb Ellis. Joe and I accompanied Herb, Barney and Charlie on many “Great Guitars” tours. Drawing on Joe’s quiet wisdom, we all often asked him to answer questions on a wide range of topics from the mundane to the profound. We eventually joked that Joe should have his own television show: Joe Knows.

via Jazz Departments: Chuck Redd Remembers Bassist Joe Byrd: 1933 – 2012 – By Chuck Redd — Jazz Articles.

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Musician Leni Stern On The Power Of African Music | Radio Boston

Leni Stern performs at WBUR. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Leni Stern performs at WBUR. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Mali’s troubles began last year. A military coup destabilized the country, which gave rise to a rebellion in the north of the country. Tuareg rebels saw their uprising mutate into an Islamist infiltration. Al-Qaida-controlled groups now rule over an area in northern Mali the size of France.

They have forbidden unwed men and women from mixing in public. They’ve banned smoking and television. And in a country famous for its deeply influential singers and guitarists, Islamists have now banned music in much of Mali.

Jazz musician Leni Stern was living Mali’s capital city of Bamako when the chaos erupted. She could have left. But she stayed. And continued recording tracks for her new album, “Smoke, No Fire”.

via Musician Leni Stern On The Power Of African Music | Radio Boston.

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Jose Feliciano – Live At The 2010 New Orleans Jazzfest

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Up close and personal with Julian Bahula – A drumbeat for freedom – SundayWorld

THE year was 1964. The venue was Orlando Stadium, the country’s soccer Mecca and, in the 1960s, the arena of jazz competitions.

The event was the Castle Lager Jazz Festival. Three young men from Mamelodi, Pretoria, the Malombo Jazzmen, caused a stir and left a lasting imprint on the collective psyche of the 60000 revellers.

They were leader and guitar wizard Philip Tabane, flautist and harmonica player Abbey Cindi, and Julian Bahula on skins.

via Up close and personal with Julian Bahula – A drumbeat for freedom – SundayWorld.

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Beyond the Wall Music presents ‘Life-Spoken’ – Live | Heinrich Frans

Heinrich Frans - Life Stories

Heinrich Frans – Life Stories

Beyond the Wall Music presents ‘Life-Spoken’ – Live.  I will be performing original music off my debut EP, ‘Life-Stories’ (available on iTunes and other digital distribution platforms worldwide as of 24 February 2013) and forthcoming full-length debut album.  In this performance and intimate setting, I will take you on a musical journey that will include material that has shaped me into the multi-faceted singer and songwriter that I am today.  With musical experiences within the classical, jazz, R&B, soul and gospel spheres and participation as a choir-member, soloist and backing vocalist with internationally renowned choirs, orchestras and recording artists, in many ways, this will be a ‘full-circle’ moment for me.  I will be accompanied by a seasoned set of musicians namely, Shaun Johannes (Musical Director and Acoustic and Electric Bass), Dylan Roman (Keyboard), Kevin Gibson (Drums) and featured guests.  This ‘one night only’ performance is set to deliver a unique and soulful experience.

Venue: Kaleidoscope Café (85 Main Road, Claremont (above Tin-Roof), Cape Town
Date: Sunday, 24 February 2013

Time: 18h00 to 19h30 (Doors open at 17h00)
Price: R150 (Unreserved)
Bookings are now officially open via Computicket.

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Jazz Columns: Jazz Is Alive and Will Never Die – By Michael A. Nutter — Jazz Articles

Mayor Michael Nutter, and Thirsty Ear Recordings' Peter Gordon talk music at the Jazz Connect Conference at the Hilton New York, Jan. 2013 | Jeff Tamarkin

Mario Garcia Durham (President and CEO of APAP), Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, and Thirsty Ear Recordings’ Peter Gordon talk music at the Jazz Connect Conference at the Hilton New York, Jan. 2013 | Jeff Tamarkin

Jazz is alive, and will never die.

Jazz is a unique American art form that affirms the noblest aspirations of our nation – individualism, discipline, perseverance, innovation…

As jazz saxophonist Charlie “Bird” Parker said, “Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn.”

via Jazz Columns: Jazz Is Alive and Will Never Die – By Michael A. Nutter — Jazz Articles.

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Goldings/Bernstein/Stewart – review | Music | The Guardian

Bernstein Goldings Stewart

Bernstein Goldings Stewart

Hammond-organ jazz trios aren’t supposed to sound tasteful – the default adjectives for this popular 1950s-minted lineup are soulful, sermonising, sweaty, maybe sexy. But though Boston organist Larry Goldings’s trio plays in a more restrained manner than those of such famous predecessors as Jimmy Smith, this widely admired soloist, composer and accompanist (Christina Aguilera, Tracy Chapman and Madeleine Peyroux have hired him) plays a subtler kind of Hammond jazz for a more eclectic musical era.

via Goldings/Bernstein/Stewart – review | Music | The Guardian.

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Montreaux Jazz Festival founder Claude Nobs dies after skiing accident

Claude Nobs. Credit: AP Photo

Claude Nobs. Credit: AP Photo

GENEVA (AP) — Claude Nobs, the founder and general manager of the Montreux Jazz Festival, whose passion for music and artistry introduced generations of legendary musicians to international audiences on the Swiss stage, has died. He was 76.

The Jazz Festival said Nobs, a native of Montreux, died Thursday after sustaining injuries from a fall while cross-country skiing in nearby Caux-sur-Montreux on Christmas Eve. He was taken to the hospital and fell into a coma from which he never recovered.

Nobs worked his way from being a chef and director of Montreux’s tourism office, where he organized charity concerts, to overseeing one of the most iconic music festivals in the world.

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Jazz Articles: Actress Molly Ringwald to Release Jazz Vocal Recording – By Jeff Tamarkin — Jazz Articles

Molly Ringwald

Molly Ringwald

Actress Molly Ringwald, best known for her starring roles in such hit 1980s films as Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink and The Breakfast Club, will release a jazz vocal album, Except … Sometimes, next April. The album, Ringwald’s debut, will be released by Concord Records. It’s described in a press release “an homage to the Great American Songbook,” and will include nine standards plus “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” from The Breakfast Club. Ringwald will also appear on selected tour dates.

via Jazz Articles: Actress Molly Ringwald to Release Jazz Vocal Recording – By Jeff Tamarkin — Jazz Articles.

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Top 10 Jazz albums of 2012 – latimes.com

Vijay Iyer, "Accelerando" (ACT) ( Getty Images / December 14, 2012 )

Vijay Iyer, “Accelerando” (ACT) ( Getty Images / December 14, 2012 )

A selection of notable releases in another year that found jazz evolving as boundaries and definitions shifted and fell, leaving only the music behind.

via Top 10 Jazz albums of 2012 – latimes.com.

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The best jazz albums of 2012, as selected by Fred Kaplan. – Slate Magazine

Ravi Coltrane.  Photo by Deborah Feingold/Courtesy Ravi Coltrane.

Ravi Coltrane. Photo by Deborah Feingold/Courtesy Ravi Coltrane.

It’s been a solid year for jazz recordings: no truly great new albums (I doubt that any of them will make the decade’s top 10 list at the end of 2019), but all of the ones below are very good.

Read more at The best jazz albums of 2012, as selected by Fred Kaplan. – Slate Magazine.

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Rocking Horse – Soft Rock Country Band + The Glenn Robertson Jazz Band LIVE at Kaleidoscope Cafe on Friday 2nd November 2012.

Rocking Horse - Soft Rock Country Band + The Glenn Robertson Jazz Band LIVE at Kaleidoscope Cafe on Friday 2nd November 2012.

Rocking Horse – Soft Rock Country Band + The Glenn Robertson Jazz Band LIVE at Kaleidoscope Cafe on Friday 2nd November 2012.

Rocking Horse – Soft Rock Country Band + The Glenn Robertson Jazz Band LIVE at Kaleidoscope Cafe on Friday 2nd November 2012.
Butter Chicken + Rice on the Menu – Soft Drinks Bar
Call Petro Schoeman 0216745761 to book!

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De Waal Park Re/Max Free Summer Concerts 2012/2013

De Waal Park Re/Max Free Summer Concerts 2012/2013

De Waal Park Re/Max Free Summer Concerts 2012/2013

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THE CESH JAZZ COLLECTIVE Every Thursday and Friday at Mr Pickwicks in Long Street, Cape Town

THE CESH JAZZ COLLECTIVE Every Thursday and Friday at Mr Pickwicks

THE CESH JAZZ COLLECTIVE Every Thursday and Friday at Mr Pickwicks

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SA’s new music revolutionaries | TechCentral

SA's new music revolutionaries | TechCentral

From streaming services to direct download sites, SA has seen a range of new music offerings arrive in recent months. Now there are two more on the horizon, each with completely different models, but each wanting to give SA artists the dues, and revenue, they deserve.

The first, Biblo, was founded by musician Markus Wormstorm (Markus Sutcliffe-Smit to the taxman) and his wife Alison. It’s set to launch on Saturday and will serve as a boutique outlet for advertisers, filmmakers, broadcasters and brands looking to license curated, high-quality SA music.

“We want to create a shelter for local artists so they don’t get messed around and so they get proper fees,” Sutcliffe-Smit explains. “All the tracks are handpicked so the quality is a bit higher. We offer licensing across the board, from public performance, to Internet licences, and licences for television broadcast and film.”

via SA’s new music revolutionaries | TechCentral.

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Table Mountain Blues Summit 2012

Table Mountain Blues Summit 2012

This Year the Summit is coming at you with over 20 bands ready to Rock your Blues out. For the first time since it’s humble beginning at the Tafelberg Tavern in 2005 the Summit becomes an awe inspiring 2 day festival boasting some of the finest acts in the country.

The Cream of South Africa’s Blues Rock Artists will be taking the stage on Friday 30th Nov and Saturday 1st of Dec at Bloemendal Wine Estate and It looks set to be the biggest blues gathering in South Africa’s History. Now into it’s 8th year and with the continued help of Combustion Technology and Paul Bothner Music the Table Mountain Blues Summit has established itself as a top music festival and is ready to kick huge festival mojo in 2012.

With a spirit for real music and a nod to the concerts of yesteryear The Blues Summit is many things but above all it serves as a great coming together of a vibrant almost ‘family like’ Blues Community where the music transcends age, race, gender and class.

It’s going to be an awesome festival and a great way to Blues and Rock your stressful year into Summer Holidays. Don’t Miss This One! Tickets are going to be limited.

See www.bluesfest.co.za for all bands and festival information.

Where can I get Tickets?

  • Online at www.computicket.co.za search for ‘Table Mountain’
  • Direct booking link here:
  • Call centre 083 9158000
  • All computicket outlets and at Shoprite / Checkers
  • At the Door if tickets are still available

Whats on the Blues Menu?

  • Over 20 top Bands over 2 days
  • Top class quality 30000 watt outdoor sound rig
  • Huge Lighting and a huge 25sq metre LED screen
  • Rolling lawns on the beautiful Bloemendal Wine Estate
  • Huge Marquee that covers half of the action and allows you to see the rest
  • Vibrant food and refreshment stalls, a full restaurant menu and plenty of outside bars
  • Plenty of free and secure off street parking
  • Fender Guitar Giveaway and the Combustion Technology Cash Prize
  • Free entrance for children under 10 (must present some form of ID)

How Much are tickets?

 

At Computicket:

Friday R140 and entry into the Friday Night Combustion Cash Prize Lucky Draw
Saturday R190 and entry into the Saturday Night Fender Guitar Lucky Draw
Full Festival R280 and entry into both Lucky Draws
Winners must be there to claim their Prize

At the Door: (if available)

Friday R150
Saturday R200
Door tickets are not eligeable for prizes and lucky draws
Full Festival Tickets can only be bought at computicket

Who’s Playing?

 

Friday 30th Nov (From 3:30pm till 12pm)

Saturday 1st Dec  (From 11:30am till 12pm)

 

How Do I get There?

Bloemendal Wine Estate on the M13, Racecourse Road, Durbanville

Here is a detailed map http://www.bluesfest.co.za/blues_summit_map.html

We look forward to seeing you at this year’s awesome event.

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All Jazz Radio is about to burst onto the Internet

It’s about to happen, the long wait is finally over, All Jazz Radio is about to burst onto the Internet and the Social Media broadcasting jazz out of Cape Town, South Africa. AJR will be the very first Jazz Radio station of any kind, broadcasting 24/7 in the country on the Internet, Smart Phones and Tablet Devices.

Do you have a collection of great South African and International Jazz, Blues or World Latin Music? By collection we mean at least 700 or more CD’s falling into the genres categories mentioned. Please give us a list of some of your favorite albums in your collection too.

Now, how would you like to become part of the broadcast team at AJR. Please email us your preferences and tell us about your collection, who your favorite musicians and performers are, and why you have chosen them. Also please tell us what it is about Jazz, Blues and World Latin music you like, what drew you to the genre forms. We would also like a motivation of what you expect and why you feel that you could become a jazz radio broadcaster. We also need to know what you business and working life is about, your experience and educational qualifications equally important too.Email all the above to The Manager AJR at info@alljazzradio.co.za

Please make sure your mails reach us by the close of business on Friday 6th September 2012.

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Free wi-fi hotspots in Cape Town – IOL SciTech | IOL.co.za

Hotspots

Cape Town – Whether you’re self-employed and in need of some camaraderie or inspiration, a local or international traveller looking for some bytes and a bite, or you simply like to catch up on e-mails or social media outside the office, here are some of the best coffee shops and delis offering unlimited wi-fi in Cape Town:

via Free wi-fi hotspots in Cape Town – IOL SciTech | IOL.co.za.

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Radio: the future is multi-platform | The Media Online

Radio: the future is multi-platform | The Media Online

The trend in radio around the world is going hybrid. Franz Kruger, director of Wits Radio Academy, explains what that means and how it works.

“We’re hybrid – let’s move on,” says the BBC’s head of audio, Tim Davie, with some exasperation to people still worrying about the impact of new media on that venerable legacy medium, radio.

New media offers radio stations huge opportunities, and should not be feared, Davie argued both at the recent Radio Days Europe in Barcelona and during his 2011 appearance at Jo’burg Radio Days. But, he says, stations need to go beyond just putting up a half-hearted website and forcing their DJs to blog.

via Radio: the future is multi-platform | The Media Online.

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Jonas Gwangwa – Trombonist, Composer and Bandleader

Jonas Gwangwa - Trombonist, Composer and Bandleader

Jonas Gwangwa – Trombonist, Composer and Bandleader

Jonas Gwangwa (born: Jonas Mosa Gwangwa) has played an influential role in the evolution of South African jazz. A member, along with jazz pianist Abudllah Ibrahim (then, known as Dollar Brand), of the Jazz Epistles, the first Black South African to release an album, Gwangwa has gone on to become an award-winning composer.

In addition to composing the scores of such films as Cry Freedom, Generations and Othello, Gwangwa composed the theme music of South Africa’s Olympic bid in 1997. Gwangwa was one of many talented musicians mentored by South African alto saxophonist Kippie Moeketsi in the early-1950s. Following the disbanding of the Jazz Epistles in 1959, Gwangwa continued to make his presence known amongst South Africa’s jazz enthusiasts. His fame spread to the United States in the mid-1960s.

In 1965, Gwangwa was featured in a “Sound Of Africa” concert at Carnegie Hall, sharing the stage with Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela and Letta Mbulu. Two years later, he returned trio the United States to participate in a national tour, “The Main Event”, featuring Masekela and Herb Alpert. Despite his hefty reputation, Gwangwa remained a victim of apartheid. When the South African government passed laws making it illegal for Blacks to congregate, in the early 1970s, Gwangwa left his homeland. After touring Europe in a musical production of King Kong, he continued on to the United States, where he attended the Manhattan School of Music in New York.

With the encouragement and patronage of Harry Belafonte, Gwangwa was able to, successfully break through to American audiences. Continuing to break new ground as a composer and arranger, Gwangwa served ten years as musical director of the ANC cultural ensemble tour, “Amandla”. In 1987 and 1988, he collaborated with George Fenton to compose the score for the Richard Attenborough film, Cry Freedom. In addition to being nominated for Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe awards, the film received Ivor Bovello and Black Emmy awards. Gwangwa returned to South Africa in 1991. – By Craig Harris of the All Music Group

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ALISON DEWAR – Vocalist

ALISON DEWAR - Vocalist

ALISON DEWAR – Vocalist

Though she lives and works in the U.K. she is a South African who is reaching for her own place in the wide world of international jazz. Passionate about music from her formative years, Alison grew up singing and performing in her native Johannesburg, South Africa. From appearing in musicals (and several on-screen appearances) in South Africa, Alison gained a wealth of experience, which in turn focused her interest in carving a career in the music industry. Keen to explore a variety of genres, Alison went on to perform lead vocals with a professional pop band, performing regularly in Pretoria. Alison later joined Johannesburg based “No Surprise” with whom she recorded original material and performed live in South Africa. However in ’93 a trip to Europe lay just around the corner and was to introduce Alison to her greatest musical passion, jazz.

After a brief spell in the UK Alison moved to Switzerland in 1996, it was there she became hooked on jazz. Inspired by jazz legends (including the late, great, Shirley Horn) and determined to learn as much as possible Alison began a formal education in music at the Academy of Contemporary Music in Zürich. She went on to study further with the renowned Zürich Jazz School and enrolled with the St Gallen Jazz School.

Alison then spent a number of years performing with the acclaimed Swiss jazz trio Inbetween as guest vocalist. She then formed her own successful jazz quartet and built up a loyal following in Switzerland prior to moving to the UK in 2005.

In 2006 Alison released her first cd, a five track EP entitled Introducing Alison Dewar. The cd captured a variety of moods and vocal styles from the joyously upbeat Star Eyes to an intensely reflective interpretation of the beautiful Horace Silver ballad Peace. Upon release the cd garnered critical acclaim and entered the Best Sellers list at Ray’s Jazz in Foyles, London steadily climbing to No.7 in their chart. In Europe Alison’s EP was voted cd of the week on Italian radio, and Softly became track of the week and month respectively on Italian and Greek radio, where the cd reached Top 20. Introducing Alison also received airplay in the US, France, Columbia and South Africa. Not one to rest on her laurels, Alison continues to develop and define her craft, always learning from great teachers and mentors including Al Jarreau, BB King, Bobby McFerrin, Jay Clayton, Sandy Patton, Sheila Jordan, Take 6 and The Jackson 5 Gospel Singers.

Jazzwise Magazine Review
This 5-track sampler from the South African-born singer Alison Dewar (the full debut release is scheduled for early next year) features an elegantly phrased version of ‘Softly as in a Morning Sunrise’, the dreamily impressionistic bossa nova ‘O Barquino’, pleasing interpretations of ‘Too Close for Comfort’ and ‘Peace’, plus what is the undoubted highlight, ‘Star Eyes’.

Whether by luck or design the singer has hooked up with a great team for her debut. The EP is co-produced, recorded, mixed and mastered by Derek Nash (unconfirmed reports state that Nash, possibly the hardest working man on the UK scene, hasn’t seen daylight in over a decade), with excellent arrangements courtesy of ex-Incognito and George Benson pianist Graham Harvey. Chamberlain and Skelton are two highly dependable talents to have in the engine room. Dewar’s own talents include her clarity of line and artless approach to the lyric. In what is already an overcrowded field, one can only wish the singer well.

Peter Quinn, Jazzwise Magazine, UK (July 2006)

Vortex Review
If there are, broadly speaking, two types of jazz singer (the Ella Fitzgeralds/Stacey Kents, who prioritise the song rather than their emotions concerning it, and the Billie Holidays/Madeleine Peyroux, who basically do the opposite), then South African vocalist Alison Dewar, courtesy of her crystal-clear diction and unfussily straightforward approach to a lyric, is firmly in the former camp.

On this introductory EP, she is backed by a sparky but discreet band led by the impeccable pianist/arranger Graham Harvey, on a intelligently selected programme of standards (neat versions of Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise, Too Close for Comfort and Star Eyes), a pleasingly languorous bossa nova (O Barquino) and (a highlight) an absorbing visit to Horace Silver’s Peace, the long-held notes of which particularly suit her unaffected delivery.

An ear-catching sampler, Introducing will be followed by a debut CD release in early 2007.

Chris Parker, Vortex, London, UK (May 2006)

Vinilemania, Jazz Italia Review
Review by Fabrizio Ciccarelli

In her recording debut EP, Alison Dewar presents five of the most interesting pieces from the international music scene of jazz standard. Accompanied by instrumentalists of unquestionable calibre, she demonstrates vocal skills that are imbued with personality, marked by delicate and fluid phrasing, pleasing to the ear and beautifully pitched. All this as well as immediacy, a rounded brightness and mellow interpretation and style.

Alison manages to mould herself to the music that she performs without ever losing control, alternating continuously and successfully between tradition and innovation. Aided by the convincing arrangements from pianist Graham Harvey, of Incognito and George Benson fame, the melody’s expression is elevated.

The vocalist’s spontaneous execution thus gets the opportunity to shine through, ably supported by the timing of the rhythm section and the enveloping sax of Derek Nash, an artist who is both talented and capable of underscoring improvisation with a balanced sound, suitably devoid of any self-complacency.

For the rest, the interaction of the band brings out an exceptional sensitivity, revealing not only mastery of the instrument but also eclecticism in covering “evergreens” that are formally so different from each other, from the bossa nova of “O Barquinho” through the lyricism of Horace Silver’s unforgettable “Peace”, to “Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise”, one of the most intense songs from Romberg and Hammerstein and the first track on the CD – in the writer’s opinion the most “composed” and structured in the strictly jazz sense.

So we wait in hope that Alison will continue to nurture her potential and will soon be back with another equally agreeable CD.

CD Wherehouse Review
Just when you thought you were getting more of the same thing in the field of Jazz vocal, in comes Alison Dewar with her beautiful and somewhat bright voice. It’s actually hard to believe this is her debut album with the expatriate South African songbird gliding through a seelction of jazz standards such as “Softly In A Morning Sunrise” with such conviction and intimacy.

Her arranger/pianist (Graham Harvey) laces the cuts with some hard swing and a thin stripe of modern touch. By any standard, a definite world class recording. If you haven’t heard her music, jump at the opportunity. If you have, consider yourself privileged.

Xolani Nxumalo, CD Wherehouse, South Africa (April 2006)

Visit her website at http://www.alisondewar.com

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STIX HOJENG

STIX HOJENG

STIX HOJENG

Stix Hojeng was born to music in the small mining town of Kimberley, not far from the Big Hole. His mother was a vocalist; his father played the trumpet and his brother played drums. Stix’s first love affair was with the guitar, when he was just twelve years old. But the piano won his heart and he now plays keyboard for Miriam Makeba among others.

He has played with some of South Africa’s greatest talents, including Jimmy Dludlu, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Tsepo Tshola, Dr Victor and the late Brenda Fassie. He also played with the band CC Beat. And with Dludlu, Frank Paco and John Nassan, he was a founder member of the band Loading Zone. Later he joined another group, Africa OYe, and with this band produced an album called Moment of Truth.

For more read his CD review by Brian Hough on this website

Interview with Stix Hojeng by Brian Hough

On first meeting Stix Hojeng, one is bowled over by his humility, ready smile, self-effacing humour, and relaxed energy. We met in an Italian coffee shop and to my surprise Stix ordered a cappuccino and bowl of soup. So, the man is unconventional, and entertaining, and for the next hour I listened fascinated as Stix outlined his journey of jazz.

As a 12-year, he was knocked out by the return of a long lost uncle whose guitar skills were formidable. Such was the experience that Stix abandoned his plans to be a drummer, and started on the guitar immediately.

Although his early influences came from the Bee Gees, Abba, and whatever was a ’hit’ on local radio, he soon fell under the spells generated by Chick Corea, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and local jazz musos.

Stix has spent much of his life travelling in the UK, Europe, and USA and one can hear the influences from those countries when listening to him play.

His CD, is reviewed on this website provides a fascinating insight into his styles, and eclectic gathering of tunes. He spends most of his time at the keyboard where he composes, writes, arranges, produces, and even markets his endeavours. Copies of his album can be ordered directly from Stix by writing to him at: stixhojeng@webmail.co.za.

Contact Details:
Brian Hough – E-mail: manofjass@yahoo.com – Snailmail: Box 320 Bruma Johannesburg 2026 South Africa Tel/Fax: 27+11+622-1519 – Cell: 27+83+262-2333

Visit his website at http://www.stixhojeng.co.za/

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