Pianist, composer, arranger and educator Burton Naidoo will be playing tunes from his upcoming release titled “Sometime Before” at Alliance Française, Durban on Thursday 27 January.  The compositions reflect a life ‘Sometime Before’ the Covid pandemic, during which most, if not most people long for normality.  “We miss simple gestures like hugs, handshakes, and meetings without masking”, he said.  The music is groovy, edgy, celebratory and nostalgic.

This concert is organized in collaboration with UKZN’s Centre for Creative Arts and Centre for Jazz and Popular Music.  “Sometime Before” will be released as an album in March this year.  Naidoo is joined by an incredible band featuring Riley Giandhari on drums, Trevor Donjeany on bass and Martin Sigamoney on saxophone.  Also featured as part of the concert is published and performing poet Luleka Mhlanzi, who has written, read and performed her poetry at many national and international events.

Burton Naidoo. Picture by @lindopics

Luleka, the author of “Confiscated Identity”, is a change agent.  Her footprint is spotted in various African youth change programmes such as Gold Peer Education, Enke Youth Forum, PACSA and Activate Change Drivers.  She is currently a youth programmes facilitator at Heartnet, curating poetry sessions.  She has been listed as one of Mail & Guardian’s Top 200 Young 2021 and has done commission work on a global campaign, A Letter To Nature for C40 Climate Leadership Group.  Luleka established a project called Beauty Revised that responds to a stereotype about beauty standards set by society.  Growing up, she was bullied about her dark skin colour and was deemed ugly.  The project seeks a return of confidence to little girls and women excluded by society.

At a tender age of 6 years old, Burton started piano lessons with Simon Kerdachi at the Simon Kerdachi Academy of Music.  He took a keen interest in Jazz from an early age.  In 2001 he enrolled on UKZN’s Jazz Programme and spent four years under the wings of Darius Brubeck.  He was also awarded a scholarship to study at the University of Artisten, Gothenburg, Sweden, where he took lessons with Anders Perrson and Peter Burman.  In 2005 he won the SAMRO Piano Competition and received funding for further international study.

Luleka Mhlanzi. Picture by @dabrionphotography

He has performed at The Rendezvous de ‘lerde Festival in Nantes, France, The International Association for Jazz Educator Conference in Los Angeles, Nefertiti Jazz Club Sweden, numerous World Music Festivals in Mozambique, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Morocco.  Locally he has played at The Cape Town International Jazz Festival, Oppikoppi, Splashy Fen, Woodstock, Emerentia Festival, to name a few.  Burton has and continues to perform with some of South Africa’s finest musicians across all genres.  He has written and performed a large body of original music.

These concerts are made possible by The SAMRO Foundation/Concerts SA.  Concerts SA is a joint South African/Norwegian live music development project housed under the auspices of SAMRO and managed by IKS Cultural Consulting.  Concerts SA receives financial, administrative and technical support from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, SAMRO and the SAMRO Foundation.  Working with musicians, promoters, venue owners and audiences, providing support to the sector through research and skills development for music professionals, the project aims to build a vibrant and viable live music circuit in southern Africa.  It also aims to develop an interest in and appreciation of live music by showcasing music performances and conducting workshops at schools.

Tickets for the concert which sell for R60 can be purchased at Webtickets.  Doors at Alliance Française Durban open at 6pm.  Like Burton Naidoo’s Facebook Page.  Follow his on Instagram @burtoncurtisnaidoo. Like Concerts SA on Facebook, follow then on Twitter @ConcertsSA and @concertssa on Instagram.  Visit their website https://concertssa.co.za