Guitarists


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[/one_third][two_third_end][h4]…ALBERT FROST
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Albert Frost has been rocking the Blues for almost two decades. Having made a name for himself in the early ’90s as the guitarist for the seminal band, The Blues Broers, Albert is an all-round master guitarist with a passion for music that reflects over any audience.

He has performed and recorded with some of South Africa’s best musicians, including Ali Farka Toure, Vusi Mahlasela, Arno Carstens, Koos Kombuis, Valiant Swart, Riku Latti, Louis Mhlanga and Simon Orange. He has shared stages with The Rolling Stones, R.E.M., Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, The Pixies and Simple Minds, and has performed for Nelson Mandela. Albert contributes to the albums of many local artists and is loved by crowds the world over.

In 2010 he released his first solo studio EP, ‘Devils & Gods’, and these days is focusing more on his performances as a solo artist. Albert is a mood-man who can perform intimate solo shows and an electrifying fusion of blues and rock ‘n roll funk with his trio.

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[/one_third][two_third_end][h4]…ALLOU APRIL
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Allou April was discovered by some of Cape Town’s top gospel bands after moving from his hometown of Saldanha in the 1970s. So began his career as one of the most sought-after session musicians in the Mother City. He later moved on to playing in clubs, performing standards with instrumental jazz bands. Over the years, Allou has developed his own unique style of guitar-playing that reflects the many eclectic genres within the South African music environment.

He has become a significant voice on the contemporary African and jazz music landscape. Allou has had the opportunity of collaborating with many outstanding musicians such as Sibongile Khumalo, Robbie Jansen, Hotep Galeta, Joe McBride and Al Jarreau. Sheer Sound proudly presented his long-awaited debut album, ‘Bringing Joy‘. This album reflects on various styles, including funk, goema, gospel, township contemporary and R&B, and is a collection of the best material from compositions he has been putting together for the past 10 years.

Allou says of his music that “it covers a wide range of experiences that reflects my roots and place in the new world.” This album features, amongst others, pianist Andile Yenana, trumpeter Marcus Wyatt, Basi Mahlasela on percussion, Robbie Jansen on saxophones, and R&B songstress TK.

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[two_third_end][h4]…ALVIN DYERS…[/h4]

Alvin Dyers has a signature sound that blends elements of Latin, Cape Goema, African and Jazz. He frequently plays with the Alvin Dyers Quartet and in 2000 he released his debut album, ‘Wesley Street’. Alvin gained popularity touring with Workforce, a band including Spencer Mbadu and Robbie Jansen, which garnered an enthusiastic following and great reviews. They performed at several high profile events and festivals both locally and in Australia. Alvin also hosts regular jazz jam sessions at various venues around Cape Town, most notably the Monday night Jazz Jam at Swinger’s in Wetton – an event that Alvin has overseen for over 15 years.

The jams provide opportunities for young musicians to interact with a host of seasoned visiting musicians from, amongst others, Germany, Sweden, the USA and the Netherlands. A teacher at UCT’s South African College of Music, Alvin’s dedication to education has seen him mentor a new crop of South African jazz talent with the same professionalism and excellence he displays in his own playing.

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[one_third][/one_third][two_third_end][h4]…ANDREW JAMES…[/h4]

The degree of nuance and experimentation inherent to his approach makes it difficult to classify Andrew James. A virtuoso (in the strict sense of the word), his capacity for creating music that complements and augments his lyrical storytelling knows no bounds. Watching Andrew wield the acoustic guitar, lap slide and banjo, using a unique and mesmerising finger-picking technique, is an experience in itself. His relationship to his instruments, from which he can coax sounds as diverse as they are expressive, is one of obvious intimacy, even love. His voice is alternately plaintive, nostalgic, innocent and angered as he considers the consequences of our thinking and our actions in uncertain times.

In 2011, Andrew James and the Steady Tiger worked with producer Aron-Turest Swartz (founder of Freshly Ground) to produce their debut album, ‘Red in Tooth and Claw’, a collection of ten hypnotically beautiful, sincere and thoughtful songs.

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[two_third_end][h4]…BRUCE MUIRHEAD…[/h4]

Besides playing gigs in Cape Town and internationally, Bruce Muirhead plays regularly with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, the Mike Campbell Big Band, and with various other composers and conductors. He does solo guitar and session work, holds workshops and composes music for selected film and television projects. He has played in Qatar, Malaysia, Sweden, Finland and Norway in various musical projects.

While Bruce’s main focus has always been on musical composition and performance, he also enjoys teaching. Bruce is a member of a number of jazz bands including the Muirhead Quartet, which performed at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival; Black Market Trio; Splectrum, a duo with Reza Kota; Two Tone, a duo with Mark Fransman; and African Duo with Jaco Maria.  Bruce has felt the influence of musicians such as Johnny Fourie, Wes Montgomery, John Scholfield, Jim Hall, Pat Metheny, Bruce Cassidy and Winston Mankunku Ngozi.

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[two_third_end][h4]…DAN PATLANSKY…[/h4]

What Dan Patlansky can do with a six-string Fender Stratocaster at the age of 29, most critically acclaimed guitarists will never quite achieve in a lifetime.  In only ten years on the music scene, Dan Patlansky is one of the busiest and most respected blues artists to ever come out of South Africa.

Constant touring as a teenager won Dan the hearts of even the most hardened blues critics. In the winter of 2001, ‘Standing at the Station’ was released; being a completely independent album, many were surprised at its amazing success. After receiving word that Readers’ Choice had voted him “Best Blues Guitarist in Southern Africa”, the way was paved for further releases, including ‘True Blues’ and ‘Real’. Fender recognised Dan’s fiery playing and offered him an endorsement deal to promote Fender guitars and amplifiers. Dan is one of only six Fender-endorsed guitarists in South Africa.

Dan has played, and more often than not headlined, every major venue and music festival in South Africa, and continues to tour extensively everywhere from small towns to big cities, locally and abroad. Over the years, he has shared the stage many times with legendary blues artists and guitarists such as Larry Amos, Julian Laxton, Steve Fataar, Cedric Sampson, Valiant Swart and Alistair Coakley.

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[two_third_end][h4]…DAVE LEDBETTER…[/h4]

Multi-instrumentalist and well-known Cape Town guitarist, pianist and band leader, Dave Ledbetter is a musical wizard who has performed with the highest calibre of South African musicians, across genres. His original music is characterised by socially conscious lyrics combined with jazz and folk melodies. Dave has played various festivals, including the Robben Island Millennium Concert alongside Manu Dibango, Jimmy Dludlu, Sibongile Khumalo, Miriam Makeba and Robbie Jansen; as well as the Cape Town International Jazz Festival with his group, The Clearing.

The Clearing was formed in March 2010 and performed weekly to a full house at Speedway Café. Since moving to the Polana in Kalk Bay, they have enthralled audiences with a unique blend of jazz, African, country, funk, groove and World music, and was without a doubt the most talked-about local jazz act of 2010. Most of the band’s repertoire is inspired by Dave’s travels and his home on the slopes of Chapman’s Peak. Known for his versatility and creative unpredictability, Dave plays and composes in many genres with consummate ease.

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[two_third_end][h4]…ERROL DYERS…[/h4]

Errol Dyers has created his own signature sound best described under the genre of Cape jazz. Alongside veterans like Robbie Jansen and Basil Coetzee, Errol was part of the creation of the uniquely South African blend of “langarm” Afrikaans music and celebratory Cape Carnival tunes that is now known as Ghoema.

Unlike many of his contemporaries, Errol is a self-taught musician who learnt his music on the street, drawing inspiration from the natural rhythms of both Cape Town and the people of the mother city, allowing people to interpret themselves through the music. Errol’s many releases include the albums ‘Sonesta’ and ‘Kou Kou Wa’, and his latest offering is a collaboration between himself, Hilton Schilder and Steve Newman, entitled ‘All in One‘. During Errol’s illustrious career he has performed, recorded and toured locally and internationally with many great artists, including the late Basil Coetzee, Winston Mankunku Ngozi, Abdullah Ibrahim, the late Robbie Jansen and McCoy Mrubata, to name but a few.

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[two_third_end][h4]…GARY DEACON…[/h4]

Gary Deacon has toured, performed and recorded with the cream of local and international artists including Johnny Fourie, Dave O’Higgins, Herb Ellis, Helmut Lotti and James Morrison. He is an active session musician and composer; the SABC and Fine Music Radio have used a number of his original tunes. He currently plays with the Gary Deacon Duo and the Sound Image Band.

Encouraged by his father, Arthur Deacon, Gary began playing the guitar at an early age. As a seasoned musician he obtained an Artes nomination for his record, ‘Six String Things’, and an NTVA Award for the music he composed for his first Video Animation production.

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[two_third_end][h4]…GUY BUTTERY…[/h4]

Durban-born guitarist, sitarist and composer, Guy Buttery was introduced to music at an early age by his pianist mother and guitarist brothers. Guy spent his formative years listening to rock legends like The Doors, Led Zeppelin and Bob Dylan, gaining a rich understanding of rock and folk harmonies.

A classically-trained and jazz-influenced musician, Guy’s influences include Oregon, Ralph Towner, Steve Reich, Egberto Gismonti and John Coltrane, Vusi Mahlasela, Steve Newman and Madala Kunene, to name but a few. His debut album, ‘When I Grow Up’, was released to critical acclaim and comprised highly original, self-written acoustic fingerstyle compositions. Guy was the youngest SAMA nominee in the history of the awards and has garnered respect from critics and musicians alike. After creating such a unique hybrid fingerstyle technique, using both hands on the fret board to create polyphonic, percussive and harmonic textures, Guy soon had himself a deeply loyal cult following.

Guy’s later releases include ‘Songs from the Cane Fields’ and ‘Fox Hill Lane’. He has performed all over Europe, Australia, USA, Seychelles, Mauritius and the UK, with musicians like Missy Higgins, the Violent Femmes, Martin Simpson, Jethro Tull, Shawn Phillips and Piers Faccini, as well as South African legends Valiant Swart, Tony Cox, Nibs van der Spuy and Farryl Purkiss.

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[two_third_end][h4]…JAMES SCHOLFIELD…[/h4]

James Scholfield has played with the best that Cape Town and South Africa have to offer: Billy Hart (Wes Montgomery, Stan Getz, Herbie Hancock and many more), Hein Van de Geyn (Dee Dee Bridgewater, Oscar Peterson, Toots Thielmans, John Abercrombie), Natascha Roth, Andrew Lilley, Coleman Mellet (Chuck Mangione), Jeanie Bryson (Terrance Blanchard, Grover Washington), Hotep Idris Galeta (Jackie McLean), Winston Mankunku Ngozi, John Fourie, Jack Van Poll, Stacey Rowles, Paul Hamner and Philip Aertes, among others.

Since 2003 James has been gigging around Europe, South Africa and the US and is working on getting to South America and the Far East. Born in the UK, James grew up in Cape Town, South Africa. He tried a variety of musical instruments before choosing the guitar. He studied at the Jazz Workshop, where he met and jammed with a number of musicians from various backgrounds. He also haunted the local jazz venues, watching 
amazing players like Winston Mankunku Ngozi, Jonathan Butler, Basil Moses, John Fourie and Merton Barrow, and it is here he developed his distinct guitar style.

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[two_third_end][h4]…JEREMY OLIVIER…[/h4]

One of Cape Town’s finest guitarists and vocalists, Jeremy performs everything from easy-listening background music to upbeat covers and originals.

Originally from Zimbabwe, Jeremy has established himself in South Africa playing alongside the best, including George Benson, Katherine Jenkins, Jonathan Butler, Sibongile Khumalo, Johnny Clegg and Judith Sephuma. A session musician for television adverts, a film and television composer as well as a solo performer, Jeremy’s extensive experience in any genre results in a professional, entertaining live act.

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[two_third_end][h4]…JOÃO CABRAL ARMANDO…[/h4]

Over the last fourteen years, guitarist, composer, songwriter, arranger, producer and bandleader João Cabral Armando has been a passionate musical innovator committed to the exploration of many different art forms on the African landscape. A graduate of UCT’s South African College of Music, Cabral started playing guitar at the age of 17 and quickly fell in love with jazz.

Cabral considers himself an accomplished composer, whose music draws influence from Pat Metheny, Wes Montgomery, George Benson, Joe Pass, Lee Ritenour, Luis Salinas, Biréli Lagrène, Mark Whitfield, Kevin Eubanks, Brian Hughes, Henry Johnson, Michael Sagmeister, Nelson Faria, Djavan, Teddy Pendergrass, Emílio Santiago, Martinho da Vila, Barney Rachabane, Lokua Kanza, Bonga and Manu Dibango, as well as the music of his roots.

His numerous original compositions fall within the Afro-Jazz musical tradition, combining both traditional and modern elements of jazz with the sounds of West, Central and Southern Africa, and South American and Latin music.

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[two_third_end][h4]…JOHN RUSSEL…[/h4]

John started playing guitar at the age of thirteen. After exploring many different musical styles he immersed himself in the study of jazz guitar under the mentorship of Alvin Dyers.

John has performed with some of South Africa’s finest musicians such as Willie van Zyl, Errol Dyers, Basil Moses, Lionel Beukes, the late Nic le Roux, Kevin Gibson, Darryl Andrews and the Cape Town Jazz Orchestra. From 2009 to 2010 his group performed at the Signal Restaurant in the Cape Grace Hotel, with a fantastic response. John’s repertoire includes classic, swinging jazz standards mixed with Latin styles like the Bossa Nova and the Samba. Russell performs solo, as part of a duo, trio, quartet or quintet; with vocals, saxophone, trumpet, piano, bass or drums.

John’s mellow tone and extensive performing experience at South Africa’s most up-market venues makes him a perfect addition to any event.

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[two_third_end][h4]…NIBS VAN DER SPUY…[/h4]

Nibs van der Spuy’s spellbinding acoustic guitar style was first noticed with his band, Landscape Prayers, performing live and on their four highly acclaimed acoustic/instrumental albums, between 1993 and 2003.

His diversity as a songwriter, singer and finger stylist reached a broader audience with the release of his solo albums, ‘Lines on My Face’ and ‘Flower in the Rain’. Both these acoustic gems were nominated in the best instrumental category at the South African Music Awards. Nibs’ versatility and ability to cross-pollinate various musical styles, from African, classical and Celtic to World, Maskanda, Indian and folk, can be fully appreciated on his first international release, ‘Beautiful Feet’. It has received rave reviews from the London Guardian to the Sydney Herald, and in May 2007 was album of the month in four major German publications.

This has been accompanied by intensive touring across the globe, with a highlight being the prestigious East Coast Blues and Roots festival in Byron Bay, Australia. Here Nibs shared the stage with such luminaries as Ben Harper, Taj Mahal, Bonnie Raitt, Bela Fleck and Piers Faccini. His latest offering, ‘A House Across the River’, was released in April 2010 to five-star reviews and international acclaim.

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[two_third_end][h4]…RICHARD CEASAR…[/h4]

Richard Ceasar is one of the forefront jazz vocalists and guitarists in Cape Town, whose repertoire covers a wide range of genres, including Latin, rock, pop, classical, jazz and swing. He has entertained audiences at hundreds of corporate events as well as at regular hotel and restaurant performances.

His influences include George Benson, Pat Martino, Pat Metheny, and Mike Stern. In April 2007, he released an album; a joint venture with bassist, Greg Higgins, who produced and co-wrote some of the tracks. The title track, ‘Come Back to Me’ received rave reviews and airplay on local radio stations. He has been a professional musician for the last 25 years, and has travelled extensively, playing and touring abroad in Australia, Dubai, and the Comores Islands. He is noted for having recorded and performed with Chris Schilder, Tony Schilder and Jimmy Dludlu.

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[two_third_end][h4]…STEVE NEWMAN…[/h4]

Born in Cape Town, South Africa, Steve Newman has written a history for himself that few can equal. A consummate instrumentalist who can uncannily pick out any tune you name, he has traversed and travelled the length and breadth of South Africa, plying his magic and gathering a formidable following of loyal “Newman-ites”.

His work with Tananas has brought him international recognition through their numerous appearances around the world, as well as a string of award-winning albums. He is much-loved in South Africa for being one of the most uniquely gifted guitarists this country has produced, and as an extraordinary human being. “Legendary” is a title often attached to his name, and outside of South Africa he is famed for his mind-blowing performances in Japan, France, England, Spain, Mozambique and more.

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