Reece Baker – a rising star I met at BMI songwriting Camp in July

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Earlier last month I was invited to be part of the BMI Abbey Road 2018 song writing camp. BMI invited me to attend the camp as part of their ongoing support of Music Exchange.

BMI hosted 2 camps in South Africa over the last two years and my job at the camp was to understand and learn about best practice so as to be able to implement these ideas back home.

The camp was held in Abbey Road studio 3 it’s where Pink Floyd recorded Dark Side Of The Moon, Frank Ocean recorded large parts of Blonde and Amy Winehouse recorded her final tracks.

The co-host of the camp Christian Wright will be coming to SA in Sept to host a number of keynote talks and engagements at Music Exchange on 1 September and 2nd September 2018

I spoke to one of the writers from Essex the mutli talented Reece Baker who is 26 from Basildon in Essex, He is Songwriter, Guitar and keyboard player in the band Courts. Reece also writes music for commercials

Currently working with some amazing songwriters and artists: Paul usher, Mary Leay, Blakey, Devon Wright  

When are you happiest?

Probable when in the thick of songwriting and everything starts to come together

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What does music mean to you?

Hits a universal language that needs no words to speak to your soul. It’s everything.

What is the most enjoyable aspect of your work ?

Working and writing with new people, feeling the creative energy.

What drives you…. Ego or Humility?

Definitely humility, I’m grateful for everything I have in my life

And the people I’ve met. There’s so much to learn from others I feel having an ego would hinder that.

Your heroes?

Nile Rodgers & Kasif. Two absolutely incredible masters of the craft who know how to write a hit.

Which living person do you admire most and why?Again, Nile Rodgers… so many of his records gave and spoke to me

And moved me.

 

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What is your most treasured possession?

My Yamaha DX7

It’s your round what are you drinking?

Spiced rum and coke

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Dream gig to do?

It’s always been Brixton Academy

If you were not a musician what would you do?

Hmm I’d probably be somewhere in the sun selling deck chairs on a beach

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5 Desert Island Discs?

Change – The essential Collection

The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac

George Benson – Breezin’

George Michael – Ladies & Gentlemen

Niki & the Dove – Everybody’s Heart is Broken Now

What song changed your life?

Sister Sledge – Lost In Music

Who do you love?

My two brothers Dan & Luke and Luke’s Little baby Luna

Give us some real proper slang and what it means

“ Peng” – it’s nice/good

Top of your bucket list?

Write

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What is your fear?

Moving slowly

Happiness is?

Being lost in music

On stage I tend to?

Get a little too rowdy

The best life lesson you have been taught

We’re all the same, we’re all on our own difficult journey

Cherish the ones you love and be kind to compassionate to all.

Where would you like to be right now?

A studio with open French doors, backing on to a beach with palm trees and sun.

Wishes and dreams for 2018?

Just to carry on being able to write music everyday.

Social media links

https://www.youtube.com/user/courtsmusic

I compose music for adverts 

Vimeo.com/reecebakermusic 

vimeo.com/reecebakermusic

IG: @reecebakermusic

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Steenberg High School presents the inaugural CFLAT YOUTH JAZZ FESTIVAL on 11 March

Steenberg High School will on Sunday 11 March 2018, present the inaugural CFLAT YOUTH JAZZ FESTIVAL.

The festival is hosted in proud association with Musiquelaine SA, The Fostering Foundation, Music Exchange and RJ Benjamin.

Opening at 3pm, the event will be held in the main courtyard on the Steenberg High School premises, where the 1000-seater outdoor Alstom Music Pavilion has been erected.

STEENBERG

Mr Andre Kraak the school’s Principal is delighted to see the courtyard at the school being used to its full capacity, allowing the following institutions to participate at this years exciting inaugural event. These include:

  • Steenberg High Wind Band
  • South Peninsula High School Jazz Band,
  • Steenberg High Jazz Band
  • Steenberg High Jazz Ensemble
  • Stellenbosch University Jazz Ensembles
  • The Fostering Foundation Artists 

The showcase also includes special guests Sophia Foster and RJ Benjamin. Benjamin will fly in from Johannesburg to mentor the Steenberg School jazz band for the preceding week. He will also be performing some his own material, fresh from his sold-out Orbit Jazz show.

Sophia Foster too has decades of music knowledge, international performance experience and vocal prowess to share. Together, they will be dedicating the week leading up to the event to refining the Steenberg musician’s repertoire and integrating The Fostering Foundation singers into the festival programme.

Steenberg High School has established itself for its academic and sporting excellence. In 2013, the school introduced a music education project, created by the NGO Musiquelaine SA. Today the school is equally respected for its music excellence.

This music project has highlighted the innate musical talent of community youth. It aspires to reach out to other schools in the area too by offering the immediate and greater community of Steenberg a platform for music entertainment.

The Alstom Music Pavilion has provided a much-needed space for developing cultural events at the school and more specifically for public events open to the Steenberg community and its surrounds.

Historically, the diversity on the Cape Flats has proved to be one of the most musically creative and vibrant places in South Africa.

STEENBERG HIGH 3

Aligning with the Musiquelaine S.A. motto: ‘Music education for life transformation’, the purpose of the CFLAT YOUTH JAZZ FESTIVAL is to create a unique opportunity to showcase the abundant musically talented youth of the Cape Flats. Additionally, in partnership with highly respected South African musicians this event will enable mentorship and the further development of the talent of participating and aspiring performers.

Both Sophia and RJ commented: “We are delighted and honoured to be involved. This gives us the opportunity to pass on our experience and provide guidance to the next generation of talent.

More than a passion project, like minded foundations including The Fostering Foundation, Music Exchange and Musiquelaine SA have collaborated and the aim is to pro actively foster young aspiring talent in order for them to reach their full potential.”

Sophia Foster -pictured

SOPHIA .jpeg

The vision is for The CFlat Youth Jazz Festival is to be the precursor to the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, and it will take place annually in the two weeks leading up to it.

R J BENJAMIN pictured

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The first edition of the CFLAT YOUTH JAZZ FESTIVAL will be launched on Sunday, 11 March, at 3pm, at The Steenberg High School.

Join us in a celebration of the musical talent  – with the people for the people.

 

Tickets are available from the school, on 021 701 2281

Or via QUICKET at R50 .00 each

For interviews or more information contact:

Jo Francis

021  701 2281

Steenberg High School

Cnr Symphony Avenue and Orchestra Street

Steenberg

7945

TurnUp Music launches on Samsung Z Series

TurnUp Music on Tizen

Being the ultimate gateway that has been successfully hosting local talent for over a year now, TurnUp Music has joined forces with Samsung and officially announced the launch of a streaming service on the Samsung Z Series mobile devices.

 

TurnUp Music has been turning heads over the past year as a disruptor in the local music industry. The mission continues to grow as the service has now partnered with one of the world’s largest tech companies, Samsung, to host local music on their Z Series mobile devices.

 

Through this incredible partnership, TurnUp Music and Samsung are focussed on the development and growth of local artists’ careers through various collaborative opportunities and a strong market reach.

 

“Samsung, as the global smartphone leader, is the perfect partner to accelerate not just the streaming platform, but also to reduce barriers to entry across Africa. The 4G enabled Z Series devices are both accessible and affordable, making it a great tool for listening to music and watching videos” said Thabiet Allie, CEO of TurnUp Music.

 

The announcement of the partnership was unveiled at AfricaCom, one of the largest African telecoms, media and technology events and met with great support from key industry experts and delegates at the event.

 

“Because Samsung always strives to create technology that enriches people’s lives, we are delighted to partner with TurnUp Music in this initiative, bringing local sounds to users and helping to promote local musicians,” said Craige Fleisher, Director Integrated Mobility, Samsung.

 

The TurnUp Music app will soon be available on the Z series, which can be purchased at Ackermans, PEP, Jet and CNA.   

 
About TurnUp Music

TurnUp Music is exclusively focused on local talent and hosts content from various South African superstars like Euphonik, DJ Tira and Vusi Nova. It is also the home to undiscovered artists keen to make their music available to the large South African audience connecting to the internet via their mobile phones.

 

TurnUp is focused on creating opportunities to grow artists and amplify their careers. Our platform will allow you to upload your music, market it and make it available for streaming/download.

 

About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

Samsung inspires the world and shapes the future with transformative ideas and technologies. The company is redefining the worlds of TVs, smartphones, wearable devices, tablets, digital appliances, network systems, and memory, system LSI, foundry and LED solutions. For the latest news, please visit the Samsung Newsroom at http://news.samsung.com.

 

For more details, go to: www.turnupmusic.com

 

Exclusive interview with Arno Carstens prior to his Franschhoek Cellar show Sunday 15 January at 3pm

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Arno Carstens

Happy New Year and what better way to get 2017 started than chatting to the amazing Arno Carstens who only last week was on M Net on Sunday night (8 Jan) with Arno and friends and fresh from that show is at the Franshhoek Cellar this Sunday from 3pm.

Arno is a Platinum selling, award winning, singer-songwriter who has released 12 albums He’s had over 20 top ten singles and won 5 SAMA Awards. We caught up with him over a cup of coffee last week

How are you?

I am well. Kind of ready for 2017 the adventures, curve balls, highs and lows. Bring it on and lets see.

What does music mean to you?

It’s been the backbone to my existence for many years and its not done with me yet.

Any Purple Rain moments?

Since Prince died I have been doing that song every now and then. I have been a massive fan of Prince and Bowie for many years so 2016 will always be remembered as the great cull regarding musicians.

Your hero’s?

They come and go but the legacies remain. They kind of shape your youth and give comfort when you get older. I am a fan of many I consider myself rich in that regards.

Life in Cape Town?

This question reminds me of something someone said to me about Stellenbosch.

Living in Cape Town is like living in a fool’s paradise. Being a fool is a small price to pay for living in some kind of paradise.

It’s your round what are you drinking?

It’s the last drink of the night so everyone gets a litre of water to take to there rooms.

The song you wished you wrote?

“ Slave to love” by Bryan Ferry

But there are so many other songs I love and am jealous off.

Dream gig to do?

That will be the still to be discovered breathless venue with bunch musical friends where music and sound compliment the scenery and atmosphere.

What makes you stand out?

A good interactive or appreciative audience makes parts of my body glow in the dark.

Nicknames?

Arri or Cassi or Klein Jos

If you were not a musician what would you do?

A Struggling fine artist.

Pick five words to describe your band?

Of the cuff brilliance.

5 Desert Island Discs?

It will be a compilation of many artist including Harry Belafonte, Friendly Fires and many more.

Greatest Movie Ever Made?

Meet Joe Black

Who do you love?

My family.

What does the usual mean?

Feeling healthy and content or not at all, the usual is in constant fluctuation.

Favorite Fashion Garment

Vintage Garments and Kilts

Give us some slang

Sharp my Bra.

Do you have famous phone numbers on your phone?

If you mean the numbers of socially awkward people then yes.

What do you complain about most often?

Life, but it’s also the thing I celebrate most.

What is your fear?

Total health and financial failure being unable to take care of my family.

Happiness is?

A Blissful moment in time where nothing else matters.

On stage I tend to?

Loose control every now and then it sometimes works and sometimes bombs but am still working on fine-tuning the performance thing.

What are you doing next?

Id like to see Springbok Nude Girls doing something this year also I’m working on an art exhibition.

 

Around the Fire: palpable originality

Around The Fire

Around The Fire

This event excites me, no end! I know the cast, and I know how hard they work. The success of the Wrestling With Dawn production, last December, had and has led to the much-applauded producer, playwright, performer, English literature and Bachelor of Arts major, Siphokazi Jonas, returning on 31 March with Around The Fire, at Artscape. The 90-minute stage production is set to rewrite a good few rulebooks, as each of her previous three works did before it.

The entirely original South African work unfolds within a unique fusion of theatre, poetry and lives music. Two of the performers are currently on The Voice SA. All of the highly talented band members feed concepts into the melting point, and herein lies the genesis of the work called Around the Fire.

Four women, all from very different backgrounds, Mbali, Faiza, Amber and Angel, find themselves sharing a makeshift fire on a rainy Cape Town evening. Brought together by unexpected circumstances, the four form a bond as fierce and fleeting as the fire. Mbali, the homeless guardian of the fire, and Eastern Cape ‘refugee’, liberates the stories that brought them together in an effort to understand her newfound place in a city that renders her invisible.

The production takes place as part of this year’s Artscape Spiritual Festival themed Healing Self – Healing Society.  The cast is made up of a Stella line-up of talent

 

Nolan Africa, a Drama graduate from UCT, dabbled in theatre and television, briefly, before joining the educational theatre world, delivers director and set design. In 2013, he completed an honours degree in Drama Therapy at WITS.  

Music composition and direction for Around The Fire falls to Sikhumbuzo Ndebele. As a Durban University of Technology jazz scholar, the songwriter, music composer and arranger has worked with the likes of Mthunzi Namba, Lindelani Mkhize, Nqubeko Mbatha and Sibongile Khumalo, amongst many others.

The balance of the cast sees UCT-trained guitarist Germaine Leonard, who was privileged enough to have Alvin Dyers as his mentor, in the mix too.

Vocalist and much-applauded multi-instrumentalist Keanu Harker joins the powerhouse collective, having recently wrapped up performing as part of the Adam Small Be Jazzed production.

The classically-trained pianist, jazz vocalist student and SAMRO Overseas Scholarship winner and The Voice SA 2016 contestant Zoe Modiga adds her voice to the ensemble, having performed and shared stages with the likes of Gloria Bosman, Matthew Gold and Marcus Wyatt.

Keys and vocal support comes in the form of Josh Prinsloo, the 2014 Music Experience’s Cape Town Folk and Acoustic Music Festival competition winner. Singled-out and commended by David Kramer for possessing a “fresh sound” as an artist whose work contains a good balance between serious and comedic subject matter.

Bass guitar duty is the responsibility to actor, dancer, model and musician Rosco Roman. Besides representing South Africa for Hip-hop dancing in Germany, the film actor and accomplished Jazz Studies graduate from UCT Roman recently performed at the Mother City Live Music Festival 2015

Jason Skippers is the collective’s beat keeper. Drummer, composer, producer and songwriter too, Skippers cut his musical teeth more than a decade ago, playing music in His People Church, and he’s been playing there ever since. He’s kept time with Judith Sepuma, Louie Brtitz, Elvis Blue and many more.

More keys and also a The Voice SA 2016 Contestant is what Eden Myrrh Toohey brings to Around The Fire, feeding the eclectic mix with her alternative pop sensibility. The teacher and mentor completed an Access Certificate in Jazz Piano at Howard University, Durban, and is currently completing a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Marketing, as well as working towards completing her Classical Piano Teaching Diploma with the Royal Schools of London.

Not shy then on gifted players, this production shouldn’t be missed by those curious to sample palpable originality and entertainment worthy of proud export.

 

Gig of the weekend

 

 

Woodstock Live, Sunday 20 March 2016Trafalgar Park, Woodstock. 

 

Trafalgar Park (Corner of Searle Street and Victoria Road.)   

Gates open at 13h00

Concert from 14h00 to 24h00. 

 

GoodLuck

GoodLuck

The line up includes the following popular South African artists, who all in their own way have fascinating stories to tell in terms of their musical journeys:

 

  • Goodluck
  • Das Kapital
  • Tresor
  • Mix n Blend 
  • Los Tacos
  • DJ InviZAble feat. Computer General
  • Manny Walters
  • Ben Dey & the Concrete Lions
  • The Liminals

 

Tickets are available at http://www.ticketpro.co.za/ 

 

Children under 12 (accompanied by adult)       FREE

Learners under 18 (accompanied by adult) R80.00

Pre-Sale                                                            R120.00

At the Gate                                                        R130.00

Thirty years ago Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse, wrote and recorded the most important song of his life.

In 1984 he was already a successful musician, as a member of Harari and a critically acclaimed solo artist.

He’d penned and played some of the finest original South African-born music of his generation, but it was the recoding in September 1984 of the monster-hit “Burn Out” that changed everything for its maker, catapulting him to a new level of fame and turning him into something of a superstar.

Released the year PW Botha, the former President, declared a state of emergency in, this impeccably funky township disco jive jam became the first major crossover hit in South Africa, selling in excess of half a million copies. Over the years the song has been remixed by international DJs and covered by many more South African artists, qualifying it as one of the country’s most cherished classic tracks ever.

Beyond competent and hugely applauded, the magic Mabuse continues to make, close on 50 years since he first hit a drum, learnt to play the flute and alto flute, piano, saxophone, kalimba, timbale and the African drum, his raw ability and talent has known no limits! “I’m very thankful and grateful for what “Burn Out” brought with it,” he says. “I believe in my ancestors and they’ve done a wonderful job at looking after me through the years.”

“Burn Out” evolved in his head, long before it finally hit the page. “It was directing itself, spiritually,” Mabuse explains. “When it did finally show itself it took all of 10 minutes to write! And then my life went to a whole new level. It has probably defined me. I am that song.”

Thirty years later and Mabuse’s not only celebrating many happy returns of a hit song and extraordinary career, he’s hard at work crafting the next chapter. “I believe my finest work is still to come,” the perfectionist insists. “I can’t stand still, and in many ways I feel as though I’ve come full circle.”

Whether or not that means there’s a “Burn Out 2.0” building inside the national treasure, Mabuse’s not saying. “I am evolving all the time, so perhaps my ancestors will keep on being kind,” he says with a smile. Either way fans can rest assured there will be plenty more hits and memories as long as Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse elects it.

The 30 years of Burn out album is available on I Tunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/za/album/burnout-30th-anniversary-edition/id921045327

For more information contact:
Triple M Entertainment
Martin Myers
E-mail: martin@triplementertainment.co.za
Mobile: +27 83 448 4475

Sipho Mabuse Timelessness at the Lyric 1 Oct 2014 with Pops Mohamed, Alec Khaloi, PJ Powers, Condry Ziqubu

Thank  you to the following team

Sound  – Sound Corporation – Mark de Klerk

Technical Production Lighting, design, concept and operation  – JP Willson

Publicity Martin Myers and Samm Marshall

Event management – Razia Myers, Casey Barclay

Ticketing – Naledi Mabuse, Palesa Mabuse

Show produced by Sipho Mabuse and Martin Myers

Lyric Theatre  – Calum Stevenson, Zara Gafney, Graham Brune

Video recording – Paul Hughes

Live sound recording – Richard Mitchell

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