Pianist-composer-educator Hotep Idris Galeta ‘Cecil Galeta’
was born on 7 June 1941 and grew up in Cape
Town, South Africa. However, he was more commonly known as
Cecil Barnard; Barnard was his father's first name. Galeta
used the name Cecil Barnard until he left South Africa in
1961. He legally changed his name to Hotep Idris Galeta in
the late 1980s when he embarked on a personal spiritual
quest. He embraced and explored aspects of the Islamic
mystical tradition called Sufism. For the purposes of this
biography he will be referred to simply as ‘Galeta’.
During his teenage years Galeta was drawn into a very active
nucleus of South African jazz musicians, among them; Dollar
Brand, Chris McGregor, Dudu Pukwana, Johnny Gertze, Makaya
Ntoshoko and many other notable South African musicians.
Bassist Lamie Zukufu exposed Galeta to the music of Bud
Powell and Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker when he was sixteen years