Jazz at the 40th National Arts Festival #14: Adam Glasser


This year 2014 sees the National Arts Festival celebrating its 40th anniversary. As usual the National Arts Festival includes the Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Festival, in JazzE’s opinion, the only pure jazz festival in the South Africa. Today we publish the fourteenth in our series of 38 articles on the acts that you can see as part of this annual jazz festival.

National Arts Festival Logo
National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, South Africa

Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Festival Artist Profile #14:
Adam Glasser

Adam Glasser, son of South African composer Stanley Spike Glasser, was presented with a harmonica for Christmas at the age of 17. After finding it difficult to play, it was shelved until after some years of playing piano on cruise ships, Glasser met a harmonica player in the Carribean. This meeting and some inspiration from a Stevie Wonder recording, led to Glasser taking up the harmonica again.

Adam Glasser on stage at the 2013 Joy of Jazz festival in Joburg.
Adam Glasser on stage at the 2013 Joy of Jazz festival in Joburg.

In the 1970s Adam Glasser studied jazz piano in South Africa before moving to London. In 1990, he was the pianist and musical director of the Manhattan Brothers who had re-formed for the Nelson Mandela release concert held at Wembley Stadium. Glasser has mastered the chromatic harmonica. He has had the privilege of performing with, and working on films with Stevie Wonder, Sting and the Eurythmics.
Glasser brings a uniquely South African touch to his harmonica playing. His debut album Free At First, released in 2009 won the 2010 SAMA Award for Best Contemporary Jazz Album. His follow up album, Mzansi, features a number of SA jazz artists and took a year to master was nominated in the Best Jazz Album at the 2012 SAMA Awards.

Adam Glasser on harmonica, will be joined at the Standard Bank Jazz Festival by Nduduzo Makhathini (piano), Concord Nkabinde (bass) and, Tlale Makhene (percussion)

See Adam Glasser at DSG Hall on 8 July 2014 at 17:00. Tickets are R75

Etienne Shardlow

Etienne Shardlow

Etienne is a proud lover of South African jazz, and host of the weekly JazzE Radio Show on Bakgat Radio. He works as an IT Service Management consultant and trainer.
Etienne Shardlow

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