Ibrahim Street Concert

Surprise concert by Abdullah Ibrahim draws the jazz fans

If you were walking through the Cape Town CBD yesterday, you might have come across an odd scene – a grand piano in a church square – and you would have found jazz legend Abdullah Ibrahim giving a free concert.

Playing for 45 minutes, just a few steps away from parliament, the 81-year-old drew a crowd and received a standing ovation.

According to Sevi Spanoudi, of artist management company Black Major, the concert was part of a shoot for a short biopic of Ibrahim, produced by Ian Henderson, of Think Film.

She said Ibrahim “wanted to give a concert that is free and open to the public before he left the country”.

He performed late last year at Maynardville Amphitheatre, in Wynberg.

“We are hoping to use this [footage] as the pilot for a full-length documentary on Abdullah and the extraordinary life he has lived,” she said.

Shalini Tewair, who watched him playing, said she had got wind of the concert on Facebook.

“I’ve seen Abdullah Ibrahim many times at jazz concerts, but it’s nice to have a free concert. It was too short,” she said.

— Gabi Mbele, for Times Live