The Day That Nana And I Went ‘Psycho’


It’s not unusual to have warm and fuzzy feelings for Grandma. Like many, mine brought a sense of calmness into what was an often chaotic family atmosphere. When I refer to other family members it’s often by their first names, but Etta Siegel will always be Nana. Along with the French toast and fried matzoh, […]

Farewell to doyen of black journalism

Tshehla Michael Phahlane

Michael Tshehla Phahlane, the man who gave Soweto its name back in 1963, slipped away quietly two weeks ago without a single mention in local media despite the fact that he was the real doyen of black journalism and one of its finest wordsmiths. He was 97. His huge significance in South African journalism in […]

Abdullah Ibrahim to receive 2019 Jazz Master Award from NEA

NEA Jazz Master

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Jazz Masters award, bestowed every year since 1982, is often characterized as the United States’ highest honor reserved for jazz. This morning the NEA announced four new recipients of the prize: pianist and composer Abdullah Ibrahim, composer-arranger-bandleader Maria Schneider, critic and novelist Stanley Crouch, and singer-songwriter and pianist […]

An Abdullah Ibrahim Solo Piano Concert: Water from an Ancient Well

Abdullah Ancient Well

Story Eric Abraham and the Fugard Theatre present solo piano concerts by global music icon and South African legend Abdullah Ibrahim. Abdullah Ibrahim is South Africa’s most distinguished pianist and a world-respected master musician.  Following his performance at the Oslo Jazz Festival, John Ephland, writing on, described his performance as a ‘once-in-a-lifetime event’ and […]

Idrissa Ouedraogo’s Masterwork “Tilaï (The Law)”

Streaming video has turned distribution on its head: two superhero movies may now be in more than four thousand theatres nationwide, but a movie that’s screening only once at BAM Cinématek, on Thursday night – “Tilaï (The Law),” a film by the Burkinabé director Idrissa Ouedraogo, from 1990 – is in millions of homes thanks […]

Abdullah Ibrahim’s set to remember: a co-op review


Last Tuesday, Abdullah Ibrahim, the 83 year old South African father of Cape Jazz, walked on to the Royal Festival Hall stage. He sat in front of his piano, placed his long hands on the keys, and introduced us to the concert with a medley of melodies retracing his work. The attention of the audience […]

“Six standing ovations”

ABDULLAH IBRAHIM & EKAYA ROYAL FESTIVAL HALL LONDON 14 NOV 2017 Great Audience ‘SIX STANDING OVATIONS’ Abdullah Ibrahim Piano Cleave Guyton Alto sax, piccolo, flute Lance Bryant Tenor sax Andrae Murchison Trombone Marshall McDonald Baritone sax Noah Jackson Cello, bass Will Terrill Drums

Abdullah Ibrahim: How Improvisation Saved My Life

The music of pianist and composer Abdullah Ibrahim conveys an extraordinary depth in stillness. More than perhaps any other improvising artist, he knows how to turn the solitary act of introspection into a communal experience that’s both transporting and immersive. There’s a history behind that sorcery, which you could say was hard-won. Ibrahim grew up in apartheid-era […]

Abdullah Ibrahim in Japan

Abdullah Ibrahim has toured around the world as a solitary pianist since the 1960s. His captivating performances at the famous halls and religious buildings around the world have inspired countless people. Among these many performances was one held at the World Heritage Kamigamo Shrine in Kyoto, Japan, after which Abdullah himself stated was “a truly […]