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NAF MUSIC PROMISES KNOCK-OUT LINE-UP (article first published : 2002-06-17)

The music scene on the Fringe of the 2002 National Arts Festival is a knock out line-up of assorted music genre. From hand-bells to rock 'n roll, blues to a capella, and jazz to orchestral, boogie, groove, mellow out or party-on – there’s just the right atmosphere in Grahamstown this Festival.

Tony Cox's multi-textured and lightning-fingered approach to the acoustic guitar can be seen in both his solo show Steelworks and with Steve Newman in their retrospective celebration of 21 years of partnership, Tony Cox and Steve Newman. Both shows promise stunning guitar work and are "a must for anyone that is nuts for great guitar playing". (See Supper Theatre for a review of their recent show in the Royal Hotel’s Backstage).

Golden Day have created the unplugged Floyd. Using piano and acoustic guitar and slipping in little-known facts about the group, Floydian Slips tells the musical story of Pink Floyd and includes classic material from Dark Side of the Moon, The Wall, Wish You were Here and many others.

The acclaimed Boulevard Harmonists return to the Festival in 2002 with a new show of high-quality close-harmony singing - Goosebump a Capella. Two-time winners of the National Forté Classical Music Competition for Ensembles, their repertoire covers a wide range from classical to popular and folk music, all beautifully harmonised by the mixed six-voice ensemble in Kings Singers style.

Daniella Heunis and Salomie Rocher invite you to "recuperate from Festival stress" while enjoying their presentation of Flute Gems; and Widor du Toit presents a wonderful piano recital consisting of masterpieces of the great classical composers - Beethoven, Chopin and Rachmaninoff.

Andrew Tracey's Steelband makes its 23rd appearance at the National Arts Festival in 2002. The band members have surely changed since those far-off days but the reputation of this Steelband has only grown from strength to strength over the years. Dubbed a "cultural treasure" at Festival 2001, what will this year's repertoire of great tunes from the world-over illicit from the Festival's critics?

Francois le Roux (aka the Ha!man) gives spontaneous expression to life and music in Organism, a refreshingly different recital of organ playing with occasional amplified whistling. The music veers from baroque and romantic, to atonal and popular music as it takes audiences on a journey from birth to death, from infancy through adolescence to maturity - an organism of sound.

Born to be Wild, featuring Donovan Hattingh, Francois Hugo and brothers Kevin and Deon Mattheus, is a rock 'n roll explosion waiting to happen. This foot-stomping tribute to the heavy metal greats - from Jimmy Hendriks to Black Sabbath and ZZ Top to Led Zepplin - is a show not to be missed.

Centre Stage and Radio Algoa bring no less than five smash hits to Grahamstown: The "Sensational" Sisters are Doing it for Themselves, the soulful Motown Soul Groovin', two wonderful rock 'n roll nostalgia shows Crooning and Rocking Down Memory Lane and the hilarious comedy-cabaret Something Cheeky. Featuring Melvyn Mathews, Debra Engelbrecht, Denzil Africa, Buli G., Niqui Cloete, Darryl Nel and Donna Africa, with continuity by Radio Algoa DJs Martin Bester and Jill Stewart.

SAfm's Late Night Live at the Taphuijs will again be a nightspot of note with a great selection of live bands performing each night. Or those wanting to dance can enjoy an atmospheric underground evening at The Cathcart Arms in The Catacombs, a vibrant live music club with lots of soul.

Music lovers will be hard-pressed to find a more diverse programme than what is on offer in Grahamstown. Book through Computicket or phone the Festival Hotline for details - 046 603-1164.




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