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Reliving a magical moment

When Abdullah Ibrahim takes the Berklee Performance Center stage Sunday night, under the auspices of World Music, it will be the first time in years that he’s played locally with his big (seven-piece) band, Ekaya. If it’s anything like the last time… There are some concerts...

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Saying so much with so little

Not a single word escaped the lips of Abdullah Ibrahim during his 90-minute performance at Montgomery County Community College on Saturday night. Perhaps that was intended to maintain the spell that the South African pianist/composer cast over the audience, which was mesmerizing; or it could...

Abdullah Ibrahim

Abdullah Ibrahim talks jazz: themes, history and spirit

How does one pass down knowledge that resists the deteriorating effects of time? With a soft spoken, low and wisened voice, Abdullah Ibrahim, a South African pianist and composer, responded to creative writing professor Nathaniel Mackey. In the “Talking Music: A Life in Jazz” talk on...

The Song Is My Story

‘The Song is My Story’ Review

Celestial Bird Dance, the first song on the album (the intro), is too short for my liking. The beautiful melody composed in 1970 deserves more than just over a minute. It is one of those songs that make you want to listen to it more than...

From Hum Peter

Review: “Mukashi” Trio in the NAC Studio

Tuesday night, the South African jazz legend Abdullah Ibrahim might have played the fewest notes of any pianist appearing in the TD Ottawa International Jazz Festival’s NAC Studio series. But make no mistake, the impact of what Ibrahim played was huge. Making every note count, he led his...

Abdullah Ibrahim

Review: Norwich Theatre Royal performance

Few of us will have ever been disappointed by performances that our Theatre Royal puts on. However, I have rarely been startled, especially by a jazz concert. This is a genre that I think I have loved since I was in my pram, with my older...

Abdullah Ibrahim

Meditation in motion

Abdullah Ibrahim’s fame has never quite matched his achievement. One could easily argue that he is the most talented pianist who has not yet been elected to the DownBeat Hall of Fame. He is the most prominent jazz musician ever born in Africa, and by...

Mukashi

Review: Mukashi (Once Upon a Time)

On the eve of his 80th birthday and less than a year after the death of his wife, singer Sathima Bea Benjamin, South African piano great Abdullah Ibrahim has released his starkest, most reflective collection to date. Mukashi is a Japanese word that translates as...