No sign of Boney M…
… but Christmas has come, says Nishlyn Ramanna as he previews a musical feast
I WAS FACE-BOOKING WITH SANTA CLAUS the other evening when he advised me that because local music lovers have been such good boys and girls this year, he’ll be bringing them a pre-Christmas stocking stuffed with musical goodies over the coming fortnight.
On Tuesday, the second in the UKZN Jazz Centre’s Twosday crossover series will see the rhymes of hip hop MC Ewok meet the rhythms of Indian classical tabla player Vishen Kemraj.
The following evening, also at the jazz centre, the Trios concert will showcase the talents of student ensembles in the music school’s jazz programme. Because there are so many, there will be a second concert on Thursday.
Later the same evening, classical music lovers can look forward to the KZNPO World Symphony Series concert, which will feature piano duo Genova and Dimitrov in a performance of Mendelssohn’s Concerto for Two Pianos in A-flat major under the expert direction of Japanese conductor Yasuo Shinozaki. Also on the programme is Wagner’s Tannhäuser overture and Brahms’s Symphony No 4 in E minor.
On Friday, back at the jazz centre, jazz lovers can look forward to something we haven’t had in this city in ages: a jam session. The musicians will include various UKZN music faculty students and visiting artists who perform at the Jazz Jol the following evening.
This year marks the 21st anniversary of the Jazz Jol, and to celebrate its coming of age, the programme will feature an all-star line-up that will include legendary maskanda/jazz guitarist Bheki Khoza, Soothing Sounds (who won the Suncoast Talent Search competition), the UKZN Big Band and the UKZN Voices (under the direction of Jeff Judge and Debbie Mari), Zoco Dimande and Susan Barry, and more.
The proceeds of the concert go to the Ronnie Madonsela scholarship for talented and needy jazz students, so all attendees can earn some good karma while they have a good time. Tickets cost R70 and the music gets going at 7pm. Patrons who wish to attend two or more of the week’s events should inquire at the door about the centre’s “addict pass” package deals.
The following week takes a more classical turn. On November 3, the Friends of Music concert at the Durban Jewish centre will showcase pianist Ben Schoeman (who recently became the first South African in history to win the coveted 1st Grand Prize and gold medal in the 2008 Unisa Vodacom International Piano Competition) in a programme that will include Rachmaninoff ’s Variations on a theme of Corelli, Op 42, as well as Liszt’s Sonata in B minor, S 178.
On November 5, at the Durban City Hall, we can look forward to Schoeman’s performance of Rachmaninoff ’s Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini at the KZNPO under the baton of Vincent de Kort. Also on the programme are excerpts from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet: Suites.
The KZNPO World Symphony Series Spring Season ends on November 12. Varsity will close a few weeks later and things will go quiet on the music front until February, so try not to miss out on the musical feast. At the very least, take a few nibbles. With this much music on offer, there are bound to be some memorable moments.