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LIVE REVIEWS

The Jazz Epistles featuring Abdullah Ibrahim & Ekaya at The Town Hall

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The Jazz Epistles featuring Abdullah Ibrahim & Ekaya The Town Hall New York, NY April 27, 2017 There are rare instances when a musical message for the times manages to transcend its place, evolving into a message for all time. Such is the case with The Jazz Epistles, the first black South African band to embrace and advance the sounds of modern jazz. Back in 1959, a collection of that country's ...

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Abdullah Ibrahim in Stunning Recital at the 30th Annual Oslo Jazz Festival

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Abdullah Ibrahim Universitetets Aula 30th Annual Oslo Jazz Festival Oslo, Norway August 16, 2016 Alternately rhapsodic and episodic, pianist/composer Abdullah Ibrahim filled the airs of the 500- seat Universitetets Aula with melody upon melody, all of it improvised yet seemingly composed. The occasion was the 30th annual Oslo Jazz Festival, August 14-20, and Ibrahim was going it alone, a scheduled trio performance canceled due to rumors of a terrorist ...

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Abullah Ibrahim at SFJAZZ

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Abdullah Ibrahim SFJAZZ San Francisco, CA April 29-30, 2016 At 81, pianist Abdullah Ibrahim, is still going strong, something he proved during a remarkable tour-de-force performance which spanned four nights at SFJAZZ in San Francisco. For the first two evenings (Thursday and Friday), Ibrahim appeared in the company of his Mukashi Trio. For these nights, Ibrahim brought together bassist, cellist, and composer Noah Jackson, a jny: Detroit native, and Cleave Guyton Jr. who ...

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Abdullah Ibrahim at The National Concert Hall, Dublin

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Abdullah Ibrahim National Concert Hall jny:Dublin, Ireland March 4, 2016 South African pianist Abdullah Ibrahim is showing few signs of a diminished appetite for the road, despite turning eighty one this past November. A short UK tour precedes a string of US dates and there are already gigs in the diary for 2017. This one-off Irish show at the National Concert Hall presented Ibrahim solo, a context he has repeatedly explored during his ...

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Abdullah Ibrahim & Ekaya at the Michigan Theater

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Abdullah Ibrahim & Ekaya Michigan Theater University Musical Society 22nd Annual Jazz Series Ann Arbor, Michigan October 21, 2015 The opportunities to hear some of the remaining jazz legends outside of their home environs are becoming increasingly rare these days. In the case of pianist Abdullah Ibrahim, it is downright miraculous that this international icon left his home in Cape Town to make a rare stateside appearance. Add to that the fact that he ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Abdullah Ibrahim: The Song Is My Story

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Blessed is the artist who has reached the zenith of his craft, and endured to reap the rewards, becoming the wise elder reflecting upon a lifetime of creative accomplishment. Having left an impressive body of work, he still greets the dawn with exuberance and optimism. Pianist Abdullah Ibrahim is such an artist. As a consummate and dedicated musician, he blazed a trail from the tumultuous townships of Capetown, South Africa to the premier concert halls of the world, and remains ...

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South Africa at the South Bank

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The Dedication Orchestra and Abdullah Ibrahim & Ekaya The South Bank Centre London Jazz Festival November 15, 2014 The London Jazz Festival is now in its twenty-second year. It's a vast, sprawling event and its venues criss-cross a city that never quite seems to end, whilst its musical styles span the globe from the USA to Australia and from South Africa to Norway. Saturday 15th November saw South Africa in two distinctly different guises ...

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Abdullah Ibrahim at Zankel Hall

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Abdullah Ibrahim Zankel Hall Ubuntu: Music And Arts Of South Africa New York, NY October 17, 2014 Ubuntu. It's one little six-letter word that carries a world of meaning within its frame. The term itself, roughly translated to mean “I am because you are," took root as a philosophy for black youth liberation in the '40s and '50s, but over time, ubuntu has taken on a life beyond a specific movement. It's a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Abdullah Ibrahim: Mukashi (Once upon a time)

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Japan and South Africa were never so close. The acclaimed pianist and flautist Abdullah Ibrahim fused the Asian zen calmness with stories and inspiration from his native homeland in his latest album Mukashi. Mukashi translates in Japanese as “Once upon a time" is a very appropriate title considering Ibrahim's impressive storytelling skills, as well as the visual evocations of the record. “Krotoa" is one of the most interesting tracks of the album and it is split ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Abdullah Ibrahim: African Piano

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Chick Corea and Keith Jarrett are widely thought to have represented ECM Records' initial solo piano forays with Piano Improvisations, Vol. 1 & 2 (1971/1972) and Facing You (1972), respectively, but a lesser-known recording from 1969, unreleased until 1973 on ECM's sister label, JAPO, could be considered its true first. Originally released under Dollar Brand's birth surname as the South African pianist had yet to convert to Islam and become Abdullah Ibrahim, African Piano's reissue as part of ECM's Re:solutions ...