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NAF FRINGE MUSIC (article first published : 2003-07-1)

There’s plenty of music for all tastes on the National Arts Festival’s Fringe programme in Grahamstown this year.

After their successful run in 2002, Café Theatre Productions are back to rock and reminisce with two power-punching musical tributes, Born to be Wild – More Legends of Rock Revisited and With a Little Help from my Friends – The Music of Joe Cocker. Featuring Francois Hugo, Donovan Hatting and the Matteus brothers, these high-energy shows, enhanced by stunning audio-visual and lighting effects, are bound to have festinos of all ages rocking in the aisles.

The St Dominic’s Steel and Marimba bands combine pulsating African beat with exotic Caribbean rhythm in African Calypso Beat. The show includes their interpretation of favourites like Pretty Woman, The Lion Sleeps Tonight and Lambada and has led to the release of their first CD In My House. This group of 25 student musicians will impress with their vitality, ability and dedicated professionalism.

Batmania is back! Paul Ditchfield, Eddie Eckstein, Pete Clifford and Derek Gordon are ready to take you on a rollicking, rock ’n roll trip from the 60s to the present with their effervescent show The Bats Live. These four wonderful musicians have put together a show that’ll have you singing along, crying with laughter and yelling for more – they are not trying to be The Bats in the sixties they are in their 60s being The Bats!

Thope Diniso’s Solo Music Show is a fusion of African folk music and Afro-Jazz tunes designed to cross cultural fences. Diniso, an accomplished singer-guitarist who has been likened to such luminaries as Tu Nokwe and Tracey Chapman, believes in the healing power of music, and her show is a rich mixture of soothing vocals and stunning guitar work. Relaxation and rejuvenation!

PE’s Centrestage bring three music shows to the Fringe this year including THAT Rock ’n Roll Show (a follow-up to the 2002 smash-hit Rocking Down Memory Lane), and Bob Marley: Lively Up Yourself, a celebration of the music of the reggae legend performed by a six-piece band comprising some of SA’s top musicians. MoTown Soul Groovin’ has one performance only on the Fringe – catch this long-running, award-winning celebration of songs from the superstars of the 70s.

Sound Journey features the marimba band, senior choir, Nova Cantica, and senior orchestra from the St Andrew’s School for Girls, Senderwood, and is a journey of sweet musical abandonment. Combining African traditional instrumentals, Western orchestral pieces and the pure joy of song and dance, this show is a vibrant, energetic exposé of the raw talent incumbent in our South African youth today.

Close harmony singing is once again the name of the game as Grahamstown welcomes back the Boulevard Harmonists. This well-established six-voice (mixed) ensemble present Goosebump a Cappella II – a performance of classical, light classical, popular songs and folk music beautifully presented in Kings Singers style. Not to be missed!

Born on the Bayou: The Creedence Clearwater Revival Tribute is presented by Clinton Cunningham with Deon du Toit. This Jo’burg based tribute band has the uncanny ability to sound just like the real thing as they reproduce old favourites like Bad Moon Rising and Have you ever seen the Rain?. Don’t miss this sing-a-long musical treat.

Daniella Heunis, Salomie Rocher and Duncan Samson team up to present an hour of pure musical pleasure. Their eclectic programme encompasses 300 years of trio repertoire and includes music from Johann Christoph Pepusch, Johann Stamitz, Jacques Ibert and Bohuslav Martinu.

SAfm is back at the Taphuis every night with their line-up of top SA bands; Fly Paper Jet, a Cape Town based band, will present two hours of funk-jazz and alternative new music every evening at the Graham Protea Hotel; and the Kowie River Jazz band present Roots of Jazz in the café style environment of the Masonic Hall.

The National Arts Festival runs from June 27 to July 5 in Grahamstown. Bookings can be made through any Computicket outlet and Booking Kits are available at selected Standard Bank branches or on www.nafest.co.za




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