Jazz at the 40th National Arts Festival #4: Fraanje/Reijseger/Sylla

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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 fourth 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 #4:
Fraanje/Reijseger/Sylla

The trio of Fraanje/Reijseger/Sylla plays music that can’t be boxed and their performance at the 2014 Standard Bank National Arts Festival in Grahamstown this year will be even harder to categorise as they team up with their guest, the legendary drummer Louis Moholo-Moholo.

Reijseger/Fraanje/Sylla photo by Krijn van Noordwijk
Reijseger/Fraanje/Sylla photo by Krijn van Noordwijk

Dutch cellist Ernst Reijseger’s music is said to always have an emotional impact on his audience. In the words of Werner Hertzog: “He is a magnificent cellist, and he can do anything, anything on his cello. He could play the civil war, the American Civil War on his cello. Reijseger describes this trio as a living organism.

On piano in this trio is Dutch pianist Harmen Fraanje. A few years ago, jazz website All About Jazz stated that “Harmen Fraanje is emerging as one of the most impressive young European pianists of the past decade.”

Combined with Senegalese singer and percussionist Mola Sylla who plays traditional African instruments including mbira, kongoma, xalam, and kalimba. Sylla is also a founding member of cross cultural groups Senemali and VeDaKi.

These three musicians will be joined on stage by Louis Moholo-Moholo, drummer famous for his years with The Blue Notes, who went into exhile 50 years ago in July 1964. Well known for his avante-garde style and wild improvisations, his appearance as a guest on this line-up will make for a show not to be missed.

You can see Fraanje/Reijseger/Sylla at DSG Auditorium at 21:30 on 4 July. Tickets: R65

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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