Two to take stage

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS -

Plim­mer­ton’s Kevin Clark has done most things in the mu­si­cal world since launch­ing his ca­reer as a 12- year- old play­ing the ukulele.

Since then he has con­cen­trated on the pi­ano and trum­pet and es­tab­lished him­self as a top in­ter­na­tional jazz per­former.

He is look­ing for­ward to play­ing at Fe­bru­ary’s Fes­ti­val of the El­e­ments on Wai­tangi Day with his trio and vo­cal­ist Fran Barton, at the Per­form­ing Arts Space at Pataka Mu­seum.

With a keen in­ter­est in eth­no­mu­si­col­ogy, Clark has writ­ten sev­eral re­search pa­pers at univer­sity on the mu­sic of other cul­tures and finds it easy to re­late to the fes­ti­val’s em­pha­sis on cul­tural har­mony and unity.

‘‘Mu­sic is a com­mon de­nom­i­na­tor and a mar­vel­lous ice­breaker,’’ he says.

Clark was born in the East­ern Cape re­gion of South Africa where, he says, mu­si­cians did not prac­tise apartheid.

‘‘We all mucked in to­gether, in spite of government poli­cies at the time. Mu­sic tran­scends race and cul­ture.’’ He grew up a free thinker at univer­sity, mix­ing with the var­i­ous cul­tures of South Africa and their mu­sic. He has stud­ied, com­posed, played and recorded mu­sic gen­res from Africa, In­dia, the Mid­dle East and Latin Amer­ica, as well as jazz and Euro­pean mu­sic, and is look­ing to use Cook Is­land drum­mers in his jazz group.

Early ex­po­sure to African tribal mu­sic in­flu­enced much of his devel­op­ment but Clark also played with many mixed race groups.

His mu­si­cal tal­ents have helped take him through Bri­tain, the rest of Europe, the Mid­dle East, North and Cen­tral Africa and Latin Amer­ica.

He has also played in South Africa, Aus­tralia, Mex­ico, Cuba, Iran and Uzbek­istan. He came to New Zealand ‘‘af­ter meet­ing and mar­ry­ing a Kiwi girl in Eng­land’’ and even­tu­ally set­tled in Plim­mer­ton.

Clark has 49 orig­i­nal com­po­si­tions reg­is­tered to his name. All have been recorded and/ or broad­cast.

He has twice been awarded the New Zealand Na­tional Mu­sic Award ‘‘TUI’’ for best jazz al­bum. To­gether with Barton, six al­bums have been re­leased. They have worked to­gether for more than 40 years, start­ing at Welling­ton’s Beefeater Arms be­fore mov­ing on to tele­vi­sion, ra­dio, fes­ti­vals and record­ing work.

Clark is pos­si­bly best known for his pi­ano play­ing but will play some trum­pet at the con­cert as well. He will also play the pi­ano and trum­pet to­gether – the pi­ano with his left hand and trum­pet with his right.

A pro­gramme for the Fes­ti­val of the El­e­ments will be pub­lished in an up­com­ing edi­tion of Kapi-Mana News.

En­dur­ing team: Kevin Clark and Fran Barton will jazz up next month’s Fes­ti­val of the El­e­ments.

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