Cape Town

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24 Jun 2012


International Guitar Night (IGN) is a series of performances held every summer and winter to bring to our South African doorstep the world’s greatest and most accomplished acoustic guitar players of the world today. Renowned master of the craft, Australian virtuoso, Michael Fix is IGN’s international act this winter and giving a strong South African content to the evening is Tony Cox, who is considered to be one of South Africa's finest acoustic guitarists and the much loved jazz maestros Errol and Alvin Dyers from Cape Town. The performances are Fri/Sat 27/28 July @ 20h30 - Baxter Theatre and at the Endler Hall, Stellenbosch on Sunday 29 July 2012 at 18h30.

IGN’s main focus is on those players who use their right-hand fingers to individually pluck the strings creating bass, rhythm, melody and percussive lines all at the same time, like a mini-orchestra coaxed out by the fingers of the right hand. It makes for mesmerising and exhilarating music.

Michael Fix is a multi-award winning guitarist and composer who has evolved as one of Australia’s leading acoustic guitarists for more than two decades. His remarkable skills on the acoustic steel-string guitar have to be seen and heard to be believed. The man is warm, funny and engaging on-stage - a deadly combination – and has his audience wrapped around one of his highly skilled fingers from the first few notes of any performance.

Tickets for the concert at Endler Hall cost R185. There are concessions for pensioners, students and block bookings. Book through Computicket, Shoprite and Checkers outlets. Call 0861 915 8000, Baxter 021 685 7880 or online

IGN will donate R5 of every ticket sold to Kronendal Music Academy who provide music education to the diverse, under-privileged and economically challenged communities of Hout Bay. An acoustic steel-string guitar plus bag kindly donated by Paul Bothner will be raffled off between the Kronendal music students and will be presented to the winner at one of the shows.

These concerts have been made possible through the generous sponsorship of Global Migration SA, Fine Music Radio and Paul Bothner Music.

23 Jun 2012

Starlight, star bright...Steve Newman and Greg Georgiades in Nieu Bethesda - 28 July 2012

an invitation from Mikey Wentworth:
For anyone seeking the glitz and glamour of a five-star holiday destination, I can only sympathize with your limited horizons.

I recently arrived in Nieu Bethesda for an extended sabbatical. I was traveling from Cape Town and with each passing kilometer the angst and stresses of urban living were gradually shed and replaced with the anticipation of settling into a new space and the excitement of starting work on my debut novel.
Between the N9 and my destination I pass through Rubidge Kloof and at the apex as the road bends I look down to my left into a lush valley where the farm De Toren lies nestled in the embrace of the surrounding mountains and an spontaneous smile spreads from my face into my soul.

I arrive on a mild autumn morning and even though it is a Friday, the streets are virtually deserted except for a couple of dogs who accompany me to The Karoo Lamb Restaurant where I meet my hosts Ian and Katrin Allemann who are also the owners of Spooky and Gump – who incidentally is appearing in court on Youth Day. They have been settled here in this sleepy little Groot Karoo dorpie for close to thirteen years. We sit on the spacious veranda of The Karoo Lamb – with a menu that includes regular specials of lamb, oxtail or venison potjie in addition to the usual fried Karoo Lamb chops, sandwiches and soups; situated diagonally across from the now famous Owl House – sipping coffee and getting to know each other before I am shown to the Aardvark’s Burrow, a spacious flatlet behind the old church hall where I will be staying for the next six months.

After a steaming shower I walk down the untarred roads of the village, lined with ancient pear trees, willows and variations of cypresses and pines that whisper a welcome as I wander contentedly with the constant accompaniment of rushing water in the Lei Water or water furrows that were built in the 1870’s and in the distance a deeper, more ominous roar of the Gats River which flows strongly after the recent rains.

The locals smile openly and greet with a willingness to stop for a welcoming chat; young men on their way to the local general dealer pass by on horseback with a wave, listening to the tinny music playing on their cell phones; and always in the background, rising majestically above everything else is the snow-capped Compasberg.

That evening at Die RamStal – literally an old ram stable that has been converted into the new pub – there is a bring-and-braai with a few of the local young and old farmers, mingling with some of the resident artists and craftsmen. Naturally everyone is curious about who I am and why I am here and while some approach me and chat, others just eye me surreptitiously until they are a bit more inebriated. Soon the smell of meat on an open fire fills the air and pots of stywepap and sous are added to the equation, making me salivate ravenously while trying my best to stay focused on the conversation I am having with a fellow writer who is also a co-owner of the local book store. The Karoo lamb chops with locally made wors is a carnivore’s dream and after eating my fill, the conversation continues for a while until eventually it is time to call it a night. As I leave the cozy pub I feel the chill breeze blowing down from the mountain and as soon as I leave the comforting glow of light, I stumble along in the pitch dark until I have to stop to regain my bearings and I happen to look up. The momentary panic – a remnant of the receding urban fear – is replaced by a lingering awe at the celestial splendor visible in all of its glory and as I continue on my way I smile once again with the sound of the rushing river and birdsong accompanying my footsteps: and a lone dog, barking in the distance.

The following morning I awake early and am accompanied on my walk by Spooky and Gump who gambol along playfully, oblivious of the frost covered ground. They take me on a guided tour of their favourite haunts over the footbridge and across the river, past the old mill and the Brewery, beyond the verdant fields and farms with doleful sheep watching the dogs warily and eventually back to the Karoo Lamb where the inviting aroma of freshly brewed coffee and frying bacon reminds me that I have to watch my weight here in the Groot Karoo. Just after nine I visit the Owl House and am completely mesmerized by the sad and lonely beauty of Helen Martin’s expression which was – as is so often the case with great artists – frowned upon in her lifetime but which has now become the lifeblood of this idyllic little Groot Karoo village which has successfully resisted the deceptive allure of what most would consider progress.

I need time to assimilate the experience and opt out of the fossil tour and the visit to the bookstore, choosing instead to sit quietly on my own along the river beneath the trees and ponder the enormity of such dedication. Besides I have time enough to visit all of the interesting places: the bushmen’s paintings at Ganora Guest farm owned by Jan-Peet and Hester Steynberg; the gallery at The Village Inn where they also have a sumptuous breakfast and lunch menu; the award winning sculptor Frans Boekkooi’s working studio; the Kitching Fossil Center where visitors are taken on a guided tour along the river; The Brewery and Two Goats Deli where Andre Cilliers brews a superior Sneeuberg beer and makes his own goat’s milk cheeses; and of course Dustcovers, co-owned by Victoria Nance who with her quirkish smile confesses that she is a seller of rare and collectible books and damn fine reads!

Nieu Bethesda has no Bank or ATM, no streetlights, only the one tarred road which ends four kilometers from town, and no petrol station; it has no neon lights and frills and certainly very little night life in the conventional sense of the word, but the one that it has in abundance is character and I for one feel blessed everyday that I awake in this pristine little corner of our beautiful country.

On Saturday the 28th of July, the village will host the sublime talents of two of this country’s finest guitarists when Steve Newman and Greg Georgiades will perform a selection of their original compositions in the Old Church Hall in Martin Street.

Steve Newman is one of South Africa’s most accomplished acoustic guitarist who has achieved unrivalled success as a soloist over the past three decades as well as being an integral part of various collaborations with fellow South African musicians. He has written a history for himself that very few can equal. A consummate instrumentalist, he has traversed the globe with his mesmerizing talent, both as a soloist as well as with the bands Tananas, the Aquarian Quartet, In the Clouds, Mondetta, and a duo with Tony Cox. Tananas has played festivals and concerts in Australia, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, France, Sweden, UK, Spain, Canary Islands, USA, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe. As a soloist he has played UK, Holland, Belgium, India, UK, Norway, Mozambique and Namibia.

Greg Hadjiyorki Georgiades is a multi instrumentalist who plays acoustic nylon string guitar, oud, bouzouki, ukelele and also electric guitar and sarod. He has used these instruments in many thrilling collaborations with various other iconic local musicians across all genres including McCoy Mrubata, Madala Kunene, Errol Dyers, Tony Cox, Syd Kitchen, Marc Duby, Ernest Mothle, Ashish Joshi, Jeff Maluleke, Simphiwe Dana, Julian Bahula, Mlungisi Gegana, Kevin Davidson, Khaya Mahlangu, Zamo Mbutho, Lungile Dlamini and many more with whom he has performed and recorded included Miriam Makeba and of course Steve Newman.

Together these two consummate performers are recognized for their dynamic harmonies and melodic adventures that have transported audiences across the length and breadth of the country on a spicy, sonic journey of rhythmical delight that is sure to leave you thrilled and rejuvenated.

Tickets for the performance are R100 and bookings can be made by phoning 049 841 1642 or 072 742 7113. For information about accommodation and meals please log onto

So whether your interest is music, art, bushman paintings, fossils, climbing, hiking, bird-watching, mountain-biking, horse-riding, game-viewing, star-gazing or just sitting on the stoep watching the world pass by, you'll never be at a loss for things to do in Nieu Bethesda.

For more information on how to enter log onto

19 Jun 2012


ARTSCAPE in association with
M-NET and HEART 104.9FM


Artscape Opera House
11 -  29 July 2012
Tuesday to Friday at 8pm
Saturday 2pm & 8pm 
Sunday 2pm & 6pm

When Jozi residents were enjoying BURN THE FLOOR's sell-out season last year, the response from Cape Town residents was unprecedented, wanting thes how to tour, thus leading to the decision that the Broadway hit production will now open its 2012 South African tour in the Mother City with a 3-week season from July 11th to July 29th at the Artscape Opera House, before moving to Johannesburg and Durban.

Now there is even better news that a South African champion dancer, Keoikantse Motsepe, has since joined BURN THE FLOOR, ready to wow local audiences as a fully-fledged member of this international dance sensation for the very first time.

Dreams certainly do come true -according to undefeated South African Latin American Champion since 2004, Keoikantse Motsepe, also known as'Keo'.

Keo's dance teacher took him to see Burn The Floor last year. At first he was a bit resistant to see the show, but after a few seconds, it was one of the best dance shows he had ever seen.  Says Keo,"I was blown away to be honest, I can't describe the feeling."

He managed to contact the Company Manager, Peta Roby, auditioned, and has been touring with the company since January 2012.

Keo started dancing at the age of five after his best friend suggested they try it out for some fun.  At age seven, he knew that it was all he wanted to do for ther est of his life – he was hooked.  Keo completed his formal dance training in Latin American, Ballroom and Contemporary at Corenergy Dance Centre, Craighall Park, Johannesburg,with Rafick Hoosain and Lorcia Cooper.  He has represented South Africa internationally since 2003 in all major Latin Dance Championships, and was the South African representative at the World Latin Championships in New York 2010.

According to theshow's producers, "Keo is a breath of fresh air, polite, a real gentleman and very popular in the company, his family should be proud.  His work ethic and commitment to hi sperformance is unquestionable and on the dance floor:  simple – he owns it.  The South African audiences are in for a real treat."

BURN THE FLOOR is the show that revolutionised the image of dance, which then launched the many reality dance shows, SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE, DANCING WITH THE STARS,SUPERSTARS OF DANCE, to name but a few, that audiences have grown to love.

The energetic production was originally designed as a special performance in 1997 at Sir Elton John’s 50th birthday celebration.  At the height of the festivities, a group of sixteen young dancers brought the house down with a ten-minute dance cabaret. After seeing this performance, legendary Australian theatre producer Harley Medcalf had the spark of an idea to build a full stage show around what he had just seen.

From that first moment of inspiration, what would become the international sensation BURN THE FLOOR quickly evolved.

Since then, the show has toured in 30 countries and over 160 cities worldwide. The current company boasts performers from 10 countries with more than 100 Championship Dance titles between them.  These include winners and finalists from SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE, DANCING WITH THE STARS and SUPERSTARS OF DANCE.

While the production has no spoken dialogue, it does tell a story, and it brings a whole new meaning to ballroom dancing.  "This ain't your grandma's ballroom", says Harley Medcalf, the show’s creator.  Ballroom dancing has been around for years, but BURN THE FLOOR,the theatrical ballroom dance show, is anything but old school.  BURN THE FLOOR labels itself as "Ballroom Reinvented."

Filled from start to finish with spellbinding numbers in ballroom dance  styles ranging from the Waltz, Cha-Cha, Samba, Salsa, Rumba, Foxtrot, Quickstep, Mambo, Tango, Swing,Jive, Lindy Hop, Viennese Waltz, and Paso Doble, BURN THE FLOORis "like ballroom dancing super charged.  It’s the incredible art form of ballroom dance combined with rock and roll," adds Medcalf.

With the creativity of world-famous ballroom choreographer Jason Gilkison, BURN THE FLOOR takes ballroom to a whole new level.  Gilkison’s unique choreography combines the classic ballroom styles with a modern flare.

Though BURN THE FLOOR is a show that dance enthusiasts will love, it's not just for the performance connoisseur.  Unlike many dance performances, BURN THE FLOOR brings so many styles to the stage, it doesn’t matter who you are. You’re guaranteed to love it."Most people think if they're going to a ballroom show,they're going to see some waltzing around the stage and things like that," says Medcalf. "But they don’t know what they’regetting themselves into because this show just blows away all expectations."

Tickets for the Cape Town season are priced from R125 and are on sale through Artscape Dial-A-Seat 021 421 7695, Computicket outlets, by visiting or calling 0861 9158000. Performances are Tuesday to Friday at 8pm, Saturday 2pm & 8pm andSunday 2pm & 6pm.

A special 'two for the price of one' is available for Talk Back Tuesdays on 17 and 24 July 2012, whereby the dancers stay on stage after the show for a question-and-answer session. These tickets are only available at Computicket outlets or through Artscape Dial-A-Seat 021 421-7695.

BURN THE FLOOR - THE TEMPERATURE RISES TOUR is presented in Cape  Town by Artscape in association with Dance Partner Productions, Joburg Theatre, M-Net and Heart  104.9FM.

Don't miss this opportunity to experience the energy and sensuality of BURN THE FLOOR.

youtube teaser

burn the floor

Cape Town book here

15 Jun 2012

The Cape Town Monday Night Jazz Jam on Facebook

Please check out the Cape Town Monday Night Jazz Jam on Facebook?
Cape Town Monday Night Jazz Jam

Happens every Monday night
Club021(Swingers Jazz Pub)
1 Wetwyn Road, Wetton, Cape Town
Tel: +27 217622443

13 Jun 2012


Nassau Centre,Groote Schuur High School, Palmyra Road, Newlands
Sunday 24TH. June at 7-30pm


Darren English - Trumpet/Flugelhorn
Nicholas Williams - Piano
Wesley Rustin - Bass
Jonno Sweetman - Drums
Fred Kuit - Guest Pianist


Nicky  Schrire (SA) - Vocals    
Nick  Paul (USA) -  Piano
Jonas  Ganzemuller (USA) -  Saxophone
Shane  Cooper (SA) -  Bass
Borislav  Petrov  (Bulgaria) -  Drums

Please take note of these dates to catch the THE NY / SA COLLECTIVE at other events:

Tuesday, 26th June:
Where: The Mahogany Room (79 Buitenkant St, Cape Town)
When: Sets at 8:30pm and 10:30pm
Cost: R60 for one set, R100 for two sets
Bookings: +27766792697

Friday, 29th June:
Where: DSG Auditorium, Standard Bank Youth Jazz Festival
When: 12:00pm
Cost: R50
Bookings: Computicket

Monday, 2nd July:
Where: DSG Auditorium, Standard Bank Youth Jazz Festival
When: 7:00pm
Cost: R50
Bookings: Computicket

Nicky Schrire
Booking  -  Cliff  Wallis  021-761-2726  or  076-401 0008
Ticket price: R80

09 Jun 2012

BIG TIME! @ Artscape 16 June 2012

BIG TIME! will debut at Artscape’s Youth Day celebrations on 16 June 2012, preceded by a series of public workshops and rehearsals in the week leading up to the concert.

BIG TIME! is a cross-cultural music exchange between five professional musicians from France and South Africa and eleven youth musicians from townships around Cape Town. The result is the BIG TIME! Orchestra, that will perform across Cape Town and nationally from June.

Star jazz man Marcus Wyatt will be BIG TIME!’s special guest. The project is anchored by the renowned youth jazz group the Little Giants directed by George Werner. They will collaborate with Braka’s Elephants Quartet from Paris to form the BIG TIME! Orchestra. The group will feature in three performances at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, where its ranks will be swelled by the inclusion of township youth musicians from the festival city. The mass orchestra will lead the closing procession of this year’s festival.

BIG TIME! forms part of the Seasons of exchange between South African and France signed by Presidents Zuma and Sarkozy in early 2011. French Season in South Africa is a series of multi-disciplinary collaborations and exchanges and will take place later this year. The reciprocal South African Season in France will take place next year(2013).

The BIG TIME! Youth Day concert starts at 15:00 at the Artscape Opera House featuring Brakka with The Elephants, George Werner, Errol Dyers, Marcus Wyatt together with young local musicians. Tickets cost R70 - Book at Computicket or Artscape Dial-A-Seat 0214217695.

All music students and learners are invited to attend the free open rehearsals daily from 11 to 14 June from 3:30 pm - 7:30 pm
and master-classes
Voice and Saxophone: Friday 15 June @ 2pm
Rhythm and Brass: Sat 16 June @ 09:30 am

05 Jun 2012

Babu @ Mahogany Room, 23 May 2012

The group Babu, consisting of
Kesivan Naidoo - Drums and cymbals,
Reza Khota - Guitar,
Shane Cooper- Bass,
Ronan Skillen - Tabla, Extended Percussion and Didgeridoo,
presented an experience of brilliance at the Mahogany Room, 79 Buitenkant Street, Cape Town on 23 May 2012 with music that range from Fela Kuti to John Coltrane and their own eclectic compositions.

On their website they introduce themselves like this:
"Babu fuses the complexity and vibrancy of jazz with the long-standing improvisational practices of Indian classical music. This fusion of two streams of musical expression taps into the more complex realms of human experience - the subconscious, perhaps mystical world - through the medium of four experienced, diverse, technically-impressive musicians. With great faith, love and a willing audience, the performance occasion can bring minds together to test the depth of ecstasy in music and leave the room charged with exhilaration, respect and love for all life."

Read more here

Here are some photos of that performance.

Ronan's rig

Reza Khota on guitar, Shane Cooper on bass

Ronan Skillen on tabla

Kesivan Naidoo on drums

Ronan Skillen on tabla

Reza Khota on guitar

Shane Cooper - bass

Kesivan Naidoo - drums

Ronan Skillen - Tabla, Extended Percussion and Didgeridoo

Shane Cooper, Reza Khota and Kesivan Naidoo
Shane Cooper, Reza Khota and Kesivan Naidoo

Ronan Skillen - Tabla, Extended Percussion and Didgeridoo

Mahogany Room on Facebook

posted 5 June 2012

"Jazz and freedom go hand in hand. That explains it. There isn't any more to add to it. If I do add to it, it gets complicated. That's something for you to think about. You think about it and dig it. You dig it..." Thelonious Monk
"Jazz and freedom go hand in hand. That explains it. There isn't any more to add to it. If I do add to it, it gets complicated. That's something for you to think about. You think about it and dig it. You dig it..." Thelonious Monk

Hamba Kahle Winston Mankunku Ngozi - Tributes

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