All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Interviews

18

Bokani Dyer: African Piano

Seton Hawkins By

Sign in to view read count
AAJ: This idea of the African Piano is fascinating, given how rich the level of piano innovation has been throughout South Africa's Jazz history. People like Abdullah, Bheki, and Tete Mbambisa, but also some of your contemporaries like Kyle Shepherd, Afrika Mkhize, and Thandi Ntuli. They're all great innovators, but also all very distinct in their playing.

BD: Yeah, I don't know what it is. Piano is a special instrument, though I think there are innovators on every instrument. A lot of African music comes from the drums, and I feel there are a lot of innovators of drums as well, who have their own signature touch.

I think that with every instrument played by South African musicians, if you look at the lineage, you will see that there is a lot of innovation. But I guess with the piano being what it is, a half-melodic/half-rhythmic instrument, maybe it's more apparent. Maybe it's an instrument where you can see the individuality or the uniqueness the most. When you're playing African percussion, there has been less cross-pollination so the innovation may seem less apparent. But now if you have that rhythmic consciousness, getting onto the piano, which also the potential for a rhythmic interpretation while also having the melodic aspect, you can bring out a unique sound and communicate a lot through the piano.

AAJ: You mentioned this idea of the African Piano project, but is the trio going to remain a primary vehicle for you in the near future?

BD: For sure. For now I'm very happy with the trio. Maybe next year, we can look at doing another record. But this is the first time in my career where I've had the luxury or the privilege of having a working band that stays constant for an extended period of time. It feels like it goes from strength to strength, and the music is very instinctive and natural. I'd like to keep that alive for as long as possible.

Selected Discography

Mirrors, Bokani Dyer, (Dyertribe Music, 2010)
Emancipate the Story, Bokani Dyer, (Dyertribe Music, 2011)
Ubuntu Music, Steve Dyer, (Dyertribe Music, 2012)
World Music, Bokani Dyer, (Dyertribe Music, 2015)
Iyonde, Sisonke Xonti, (Iyonde Music, 2017)
Neo Native, Bokani Dyer Trio, (Dyertribe Music, 2018)

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Neo Native

Neo Native

Self Produced
2018

buy
World Music

World Music

Self Produced
2016

buy

Related Articles

Read Mandla Mlangeni: Born to Be Interviews
Mandla Mlangeni: Born to Be
by Seton Hawkins
Published: June 11, 2018
Read David Sancious: From Monk to Sting Interviews
David Sancious: From Monk to Sting
by Luca Muchetti
Published: June 8, 2018
Read Bokani Dyer: African Piano Interviews
Bokani Dyer: African Piano
by Seton Hawkins
Published: June 7, 2018
Read Salim Washington: To Be Moved to Speak Interviews
Salim Washington: To Be Moved to Speak
by Seton Hawkins
Published: May 30, 2018
Read Matsuli Music: The Fight Against Forgetting Interviews
Matsuli Music: The Fight Against Forgetting
by Seton Hawkins
Published: May 23, 2018
Read Linda Sikhakhane: Two Sides, One Mirror Interviews
Linda Sikhakhane: Two Sides, One Mirror
by Seton Hawkins
Published: May 16, 2018
Read "Nduduzo Makhathini: Jazz Is a Shared Memory" Interviews Nduduzo Makhathini: Jazz Is a Shared Memory
by Seton Hawkins
Published: February 1, 2018
Read "Leonardo Pavkovic: Nothing is Ordinary" Interviews Leonardo Pavkovic: Nothing is Ordinary
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: March 16, 2018
Read "Dawn Clement: Here In The Moment" Interviews Dawn Clement: Here In The Moment
by Paul Rauch
Published: January 23, 2018
Read "Craig Taborn and his multiple motion" Interviews Craig Taborn and his multiple motion
by Giuseppe Segala
Published: August 7, 2017