Spring/summer IS coming, warming our hearts again with a Wednesday night jazz jam open to all!
Joe Schaffers and guitarist Alvin Dyers are at it again! Making sure there are weekly jams where musicians, fans, visitors, and students can come and enjoy an evening of sounds from some of Cape Town’s great musicians! Since several ‘Monday night’ jam venues were closed during my 19 year period of frequenting them (namely, Val’s Cafe and Swingers, both in Wetton), homes have been sought to sustain a regular excitement. The newer ‘Mannenburgs’ housed on Strand Street in an historic building had to be vacated late last year due to renovations and other factors.
There’s a new kid on the block now – at least for good live jazz! Central to Cape Town and just one block from its vibrant Green Market Square is a pub called O’Driscolls Irish Pub at 38 Hout St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8001 Phone:021 424 7453, open till 2am so they say on their website.
On Wednesday nights, you can sit back at a table or the bar, and down a pint of Guinness while tapping to the music and catch a bite to eat from the affordable menu, offering salad instead of chips for the weight-watchers.
Last Wednesday, 19 August 2015, I popped in as I wanted to commune again with trumpeter Darren English, now based in USA teaching at Atlanta’s Georgia State University Music Department. Darren, originally from Muizenberg, started his childhood live performance career at a tender age of 15. Couched in a beetles-style hair cut, Darren blew his trumpet to admiring crowds at the Swingers Monday Night jazz jams in Wetton. His busy father was adamant and loyal about exposing his gifted son to the elements, and accompanied under-aged Darren to this bar/restaurant night club every Monday.
Other notables at last Wednesday’s jazz were singer songbird Emily Bruce who, at age 35, is deciding whether to pursue her Doctorate in music or another degree in Marketing, the latter to serve as a ‘real’ income. Mark Fransman, a whiz musician who excels on both piano and saxophones made his appearance as well. He and Emily were also young guns on the Monday Night jazz jam stages when they had no other platforms to practice their live arts. Guitarist Johnny Russell, another young Swingers hopeful jammed with all of the above.
MC for these jams, Joe Schaffers, himself an old fixture at the live community jazz gigs and faithful supporter of youth in music, has served with several NGOs in the Cape Flats and Cape Town area serving music educational needs in communities. As he sings with guitarist Alvin Dyers who kept the jazz jams going for several decades, I could only smile and reminisce how these walk-in and enjoy-yourself jams lightened the end of a day, and afforded musicians and patrons alike opportunities to ‘talk music’ and interact during the evening hours.
Who will appear next Wednesday is anyone’s guess! Pop in between 8 – 11pm for a dose!