From Cape Town to Midtown: Jazz and the African Diaspora


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New York and South Africa unite as Bronx-based pianist Onaje Allan Gumbs and South African pianist Hotep Idris Galeta pair up for three unique duo concerts December 13-15 at Shutters Cafe, melding the American and South African jazz traditions in a one-of-a-kind series.

On Thursday, December 13, the two pianists perform together without accompaniment, presenting their own highly original compositions. On Friday, December 14, the legendary South African jazz vocalist Sathima Bea Benjamin joins the two pianists, performing an elegant jazz set with saxophonist TK Blue, bassist Marcus McLaurine, percussionist Bujo Kevin Jones, and drummer George Gray. The series closes with a full-band jam on Saturday, December 15.

Harlem-born and Queens-raised, Onaje Allan Gumbs has enjoyed a career as first-call sideman, valued arranger and composer, producer, bandleader, and recording artist. Many will remember his vital contributions to such Woody Shaw classics as Moontrane and Rosewood, to which he lent his composing and arranging skills. Still others will recall his work as producer and arranger for vocal dates led by Marlena Shaw; or perhaps his sideman contributions to dates with an impressive range of artists - from Kenny Burrell and Nat Adderley, to Ronald Shannon Jackson, to Jonathan Butler. Onaje's soundtrack writing includes Danny Glover's Showtime film Override, and his composition “Dare to Dream" was a theme for a Panasonic awards presentation. In 2006, Onaje was nominated for an NAACP Image Award as Outstanding Jazz Artist. His most recent album, Sack Full of Dreams, has garnered critical acclaim and proven to be a jazz radio favorite.

Hotep Idris Galeta was born in Crawford, Cape Town and grew up exposed to the rich music culture in and around the city. After meeting Abdullah Ibrahim, then known as Dollar Brand, at a high school jazz concert, the two became close friends and Brand became his mentor. Hotep, or as he was known in the 50's, Cecil Barnard, went on to establish himself as one of the young emerging pianists on the Cape Town Jazz scene. Hotep left South Africa for London and then New York in 1961 and stayed in exile for thirty years, during which he worked with jazz figures such as Jackie McLean, Woody Shaw, Elvin Jones, and Archie Shepp. He was appointed lecturer in Jazz studies to the University of Hartford's Hartt College of Music in Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.A in 1985. This position continued until his return to South Africa in 1991. In 2003, Hotep released the critically acclaimed solo album Malay Tone Poem, recorded with some of South Africa's rising jazz stars including Marcus Wyatt and Zim Ngqawana. Hotep currently manages the Resource Centre at Artscape Performing Arts Theatre Complex in Cape Town, South Africa, and also co-ordinates the Jazz Performance and Community Outreach Jazz Education programs there.

Concert Information
FROM CAPE TOWN TO MIDTOWN: Jazz and the African Diaspora
Onaje Allan Gumbs and Hotep Idris Galeta
December 13, 14, and 15
Shutters Cafe
433 W. 34th St. New York, NY 10001
(212) 279-3446

December 13: Onaje Allan Gumbs and Hotep Idris Galeta, pianos

December 14: Sathima Bea Benjamin, vocals; Onaje Allan Gumbs and Hotep Idris Galeta, pianos; TK Blue, saxophone; Marcus McLaurine, bass; Bujo Kevin Jones, percussion; George Gray, drums

December 15: Onaje Allan Gumbs and Hotep Idris Galeta, pianos; TK Blue, saxophone; Marcus McLaurine, bass; Bujo Kevin Jones, percussion; George Gray, drums

All shows at 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.
$30 cover for all events

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