LOCKDOWN, SIPHO ‘HOTSTIX” MABUSE AT BAXTER the Review

LOCKDOWN, SIPHO ‘HOTSTIX” MABUSE AT BAXTER
by Robyn Cohen Jun 8, 2020

In October 2018, Sipho ‘Hotstix” Mabuse performed on the Baxter stage, accompanied by Tony Cedras, Roeshdien Jaz, Siphokazi Jonas, Mmino, the South African Youth Choir and other artists.

It was the second time that Mabuse played at the Baxter, during his half a century on the musical boards. We were away – one could be “away” in those days – and missed that sold out concert.

It was on for one night only.

Luckily, for us, we were fortunate to have been present at Spier, in March, 2017, when Mabuse performed with Freshlyground. This was a celebration of Mabuse’s 50th year in the music business. It was magical. Watching Mabuse performing Weeping with Zolani Mahola, Peter Cohen and Freshlyground – well – I have no words.

Still I was gutted that we missed out on the Baxter 2018 concert and was thrilled to find out that the concert had been filmed.

The recording was archived by one if the concert’s producers’ Music Exchange (MEX) and during lockdown, it was edited for live streaming on the Ticketpro Covid-19 platform.

By popular demand, the live stream has been extended until Friday – June 12, 2020.

Don’t miss it. Tickets are R20.

To find out how the stream operates, see article on this site. You cannot navigate away from the link, for example. If you do, you need another ticket Read the preview article for info.

Here is the link: https://thecaperobyn.co.za/live-stream-tickets-sipho-hotstix-mabuse-baxter-2018/

We loved watching the streamed 2018 Baxter concert. I will tell you why.

In addition to being a privilege to be able to see the extraordinary Mabuse and colleagues jamming on stage, the recording is a keepsake of a time when it was possible to gather at the theatre; dance together and rejoice in ‘being there’; being part of a live happening.

I like the fact that the film recording provides views of the audience; the joy of being present.

As with all his concerts, Mabuse’s charisma and warmth is palpable. He chats between sets and constantly gather others into his ambit.

In tandem with Mabuse, in the Baxter concert, we hear Martin Myers [manager and friend of Mabuse, Music Exchange CEO, producer] paying tribute to musical talent of South Africa, He talks about composer Trevor Jones [he has composed the music for blockbuster films like Notting Hill]. Myers talks about Tony Cedras who has played with luminaries like Paul Simon [Cedras was on the Graceland tour].

For me it come across poignantly as Myers urges us to honour our performing artists – in every way – artistically and financially. He is saying – look everyone, Trevor Jones is more appreciated -out of his home country – listen up.

The Baxter concert was staged in 2018 and now as we watch during lockdown in the Covid pandemic, those words resonate, deeply.

Artists have had their income streams decimated by the pandemic and the global lockdowns, quarantines, shelter in place – whatever name one uses – it has been catastrophic – for artists who rely on live gigs to generate income.

In the lockdown interview with Mabuse – read it on TheCapeRobyn – Mabuse notes that he doesn’t have high speed internet at his home in Soweto. Here is this extraordinary man – internationally recognised and in the lockdown, he is not wired to watch his own concert which is being streamed.

There are wonderful moments in this concert. There is that song. Sipho ‘Hotstix” Mabuse’s classic, Burn Out[1984]. “I’ve been watching you; Everyday of my life, mhhh … You gonna burn out all my love…Tonight, I’m gonna hold you till you cry…Hold you till you cry for more.” We watch in lockdown, holding on to – everything.

Roeshdien Jaz takes my breath away when he does his Waterfront song as I call it. Down by the Waterfront [2018] is his tribute to the V&A Waterfront – the vital hub that draws people from our country and from abroad. It is a synthesis of city and sea and embodies the energy of the port city of Cape Town.

The Waterfront was one of the last places that we went to, prior to lockdown. We had an errand to do there. It wasn’t a fun outing. Almost all the restaurants were closed. People were scurrying around, getting ready for lockdown. Many of those are venues which host live music. There was fear, anxiety and confusion. Who knew what was to come? Already, it looked like a ghost town – an abandoned landscape. And there on the Baxter concert stream is Jaz singing his Waterfront song and talking about this wondrous site which brings so many people together. I watch and gasp. I want to be transported back to The Waterfront, with its amphitheatre, crammed with people crushed next to each other, enjoying the beautiful city. I want to be present at a gig in one of the restaurants or watching comedy at The Cape Town Comedy Club.

I wonder which establishments will survive the lockdown. Who knows if artists will be able to perform live at The Waterfront – by the time summer 2020 arrives. I hope so

Watching the live stream of the Mabuse 2018 concert is not only about the opportunity to see an acclaimed concert via a live stream but it is also an opportunity to reflect and celebrate the creative talents of Sipho ‘Hotstix” Mabuse, Tony Cedras and others.

Buy a ticket at R20.
When theatres are open, go and watch them live. The motto of my website: Go while you can.That was put into place, way before the pandemic. You never know when you will not be able to go, is what I always said. And continue to say. In the pre pandemic says, people would tell me that they had every intention of going to an event but something came up. Or they were tired. Or they got diverted by something else. Or they forgot. Or whatever.

Now, we cannot go. We cannot commune in a theatre; at a live music event. On the other hand, we can experience the magic of the 2018 concert through a superbly filmed film recording. It is as if one is there. We ARE now here in lockdown. That is a moment to mark as well- in its pain and isolation and ache of being disconnected from others. Hopefully we will be back in theatres, watching Sipho ‘Hotstix” Mabuse and friends and we will say: “Just think, a year ago we watched the live stream at home and now we are back and the music is on the burn and everything is okay. That is all in the past.”

Don’t say after lockdown –“oh no I missed the livestream of the concert. I meant to watch it but I didn’t.” Could have. Should have. Didn’t. Go while you can. Stream it while you can.

acclaimed South African Youth Choir (SAYC) to perform with Hotstix Mabuse at the Baxter on Friday 26th October

The internationally acclaimed South African Youth Choir (SAYC) is one of the most exciting choral projects in the world today.

Since its inception in 2005, the choir has showcased its vast abilities on both local and international platforms entertaining a variety of audiences across the globe.

The Choir has positioned itself as one of the most sought-after performance choirs in South African and regularly performs and records with various local and international artists.

The Choir currently consists of 54 high school learners and students between the ages of 13 – 25 years from all over South Africa representing the diverse culture of the country.

The SAYC is a celebration of unity within cultural diversity.

Featuring on the concert this Friday at the Baxter is the 14 piece ensemble that have just returned from a whirlwind tour of the US performing in New York and Washington.

The bill also includes Tony Cedras ,Mmino, Siphokazi Jonas ,Roeshdien Jaz and Sipho’s band commonly know as the Hotband

Book at web tickets

SIPHO “HOTSTIX” MABUSE AND TONY CEDRAS, LIVE! this Friday 26th October

After an absence of more than 30 years, Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse and his band, including Paul Simon friend and respected muso Tony Cedras, will ignite the stage at this weekend’s 30-years-in-the-making, once-off, night at The Baxter!
Tony Cedras, one of Cape Town’s rarely celebrated living legends, will be on stage come Friday 26 October, alongside his long-time friend and peer, Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse.

 

Tony, along with a host of other great talent will take to the stage at The Baxter Theatre in support of Sipho’s much-anticipated Cape Town show.

 

Accomplished Elsie’s River-born accordion, harmonium, keyboard and guitar player, Tony’s discography is eye-wateringly impressive. Think Winston Mankuku, Robbie Jansen, Basil Moses, amongst others, and know that Tony’s magic has imbued and travelled right around the world over the past 40 years. From living in London, to touring the world with Paul Simon, his musical palate and field of reference is vast, beyond!

 

Sipho’s long-overdue Mother City return is set to be a night worth capturing in time, if only because the new (Siphokazi Jonas, Roshdien Jaz and Mmino) and the tried-and-tested powerhouse that’s “Hotstix” will all deliver a one-of-a-kind performance on the night. “Sipho and I share a crisscross frame of references and we’re entirely connected each time we perform together,” Tony shares. “The magic will happen in the room, on the night. That excites me, as it should the fans who’ll be coming out to share in Sipho’s return to Cape Town.”

 

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Presenting music that rose above the politics of yesteryear, Tony and Sipho’s talent and influence that has actively fed a cultural curiosity, will be on display when these two greats grace the stage together. “I need to be inspired,” Tony explains. “Where better than The Baxter to celebrate “Hotstix” in full flight?”

“If you weren’t there 30-years-ago, now’s your chance,” Sipho teases. “We’ll be doing be delivering some riveting performances.” Promoted as an intimate experience, this show is going to be special. “I’m as excited for the audience to see and hear some of the new talent too,” Sipho says. “We’ll share the stage, not have it divided.” Always motivating and inspiring young talent, “Hotstix” is the silent ambassador giving future generations an opportunity and voice in a space where they would otherwise be mute. “Once you have a gift, share it,” he insists. “Share the gift. Pass it on. For me, it is very important that these young musicians and wordsmiths take the baton and run with it.”

“Hotstix” has actively influenced and help shape the South African popular music songbook over the past 50 years. Those lucky enough to have secured a ticket to this show will get to enjoy it all, played out in rare live performance. “We’ll be bringing a narrative many people don’t realise. It’s so important in entrenching belief in ourselves of what we make here, at home. Tony and I are living proof of that with the music we’ve made and continue to invest in. “Tony’s talent is beyond belief!” Sipho asserts. “Fans will see that on the night. I’m excited for us all!” the “Burn Out” and “Shikisha” hitmaker concludes. “The Baxter holds fond memories for me. We intend honouring the iconic venue with a stunning one-night show, playing all the hits and throwing in a few surprises along the way too.”

 

Tickets cost R200 each and the show will run for 90 minutes, with no interval. Tickets are on sale now and can be bought at The Baxter ticket office or online at webtickets.co.za

Jennifer Ferguson’s song for healing comes to the Baxter for 4 performances only in April

The Baxter Theatre Centre, in partnership with Peace of Music and The Forgotten Angle Theatre Collaborative, have great pleasure in welcoming Jennifer Ferguson and Company back to the Baxter stage after a long absence.

Following on the heels of her opening performance at The Forgotten Angle Theatre Collaborative’s (FATC) My Body My Space: Public Arts Festival (MBMS), singer-songwriter Jennifer Ferguson is heading to Cape Town to perform a series of four emotive concerts called JENNIFER #wetoo, at the Baxter Concert Hall, from 4 to 7 April, at 8pm.

Sparked by the #metoo viral campaign, which took social media by storm in 2017 and saw numerous women across the globe speak out with claims of sexual harassment and assault, Ferguson’s concerts are a creative response to the recent disclosure of her rape. “I want to go beyond the personal #metoo to a universal #wetoo,” she says. “JENNIFER could be you or me. My story is just one of tens of thousands. We need to look at other ways of dealing with the culture of sexual violence and admit the current judicial system is failing too many of us. Restorative, even narrative justice offers something different as a path to healing the individual and the community. As an artist, I can stand in my truth and own my story on the stage without compromise. Music has traditionally been used to heal personal and collective trauma. Creativity is a powerful response to atrocities. I hope that this sharing of song and stories, will empower us to speak our truth, to restore societal balance and to heal.’’

JENNIFER #wetoo will feature special guest artists Zolani Mahola and Tina Schouw, both who have been activists in their own rights. Some of Cape Town’s best musicians will play with Jennifer including Mark Franzman, Ronan Skillen and Shaun Jacobs, plus a very special appearance by the Cape Town Youth Choir’s Vocal Ensemble. Renowned choral conductor and co-script-writer of the Swedish Academy-award nominated film As it is in Heaven, Anders Nyberg, will share the musical direction.

The concerts will feature the joyful and the introspective, but will mostly be an articulated celebration of the human spirit. “It’s a song-communion of a kind for all of us who have been hurt, somewhere, sometime. Men and women. So hopefully we can rise again with a matured vision of a more courageous and authentic life. After the storm we rise and sing again… Together,” says Ferguson.

JENNIFER #wetoo is made even more poignant by the fact that Ferguson is performing with her family, who are all just as talented. Her husband, Anders, is musical director, composer and conductor while their children – son Gabriel Nyberg and daughter Johanna Nyberg – will perform alongside her on stage. Gabriel is a talented multi-instrumentalist and composer in his own right and Johanna, who has Down Syndrome, loves being on stage and will solo in a moving ballad, My Temple, My Home, a song composed with Cape Town activist musician Su Lubner to campaign against child abuse.

The JENNIFER #wetoo concerts are hopefully the beginning of a future project in partnership with FATC. “We, like everyone in South Africa, want a country where sexual violence is no longer the norm and where survivors of sexual crimes are empowered to speak out, are met with care and respect and a form of justice that heals not only themselves, but the community as a whole,” says Ferguson. “We want to work in close consultation with and support various organisations which have for many years been doing really hard, remarkable work in the field of sexual violence. We hope to open spaces for conversations around the difficult aspects of our inter-relationships, and men need to be part of this as well.”

Ferguson has been known for her insightful and uncompromising spirit which has consistently reflected in her activism and her music throughout the decades. Her award-winning recordings defined many of the complexities of the 80’s with anthemic songs around military conscription, the white suburban malaise and the rich textures of South Africa’s narratives of the struggle for freedom.

In the 90s she worked in parliament under Nelson Mandela’s presidency. During a tour of Sweden as an MP and artist in 1993, she met Anders Nyberg, her husband of 21 years. He had worked internationally in solidarity with the Liberation Struggle and even in the Cape townships as a choral researcher during the 80s. Their mutual passion for music, spirituality and social justice helped bring them together and continues to sustain them.

Jennifer’s first collaboration with FATC was in 2003, for its When Life Happens Festival, the first HIV/AIDS-focused festival of its kind in South Africa.

Ferguson decided to shift base to Sweden to accommodate the special needs of her daughter Johanna when she turned 10 years old. She lives a fairly reclusive life focusing on her music, choral workshops and concerts, sound healing and teaching. She also co-leads an integration choir. ‘‘Life in Sweden has given me the gift of another culture, a rare gift of original wilderness, a country where access to the land is enshrined constitutionally and some truly amazing music. I can work and walk in peace. But still there is nothing, ever, quite like home,” she says.

Tickets for the JENNIFER #wetoo concerts from 4 to 7 April are R195 with an Early Bird Special of R120 and only valid until 16 March and discounts for students and pensioners on presentation of valid identification. Booking is through Webtickets on 086 111 0005, online at www.webtickets.co.za or at selected Pick n Pay outlets.

For further media enquiries or interview requests please contact:

CAPE TOWN

Fahiem Stellenboom

Baxter Theatre Centre

fahiem.stellenboom

021 680 3971

we are opening our new production, memory of how it feels, at the baxter theatre in cape town

we are opening our new production, memory of how it feels, at the baxter theatre in cape town starting february 17th. we run for 4 weeks, which is unprecedented for this kind of production which mixes story-telling, dance and chamber orchestra music.

please see more information about the show here: www.neosong.net

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