Following music giants like Pharoah Sanders or Doug & Jean Carn, the JAW Family welcomes yet another living legend in Berlin – pianist, composer & multi instrumentalist Abdullah Ibrahim – formerly know as Dollar Brand – who shaped the musical landscape of South Africa like barely any other figure of the 20th century. For the occasion Abdullah Ibrahim will play an exclusive solo piano concert in this one of a kind, historical venue doubling as one the city’s best sounding recording-spaces: the RBB Sendesaal at Haus des Rundfunks, exactly 60 years after his exile to Europe and his first Berlin appearance at Kreuzberg’s Passionskirche.
Born in Cape Town in 1934, Abdullah Ibrahim decided to flee the South-African apartheid regime in 1962 and was discovered shortly after by none other than Duke Ellington in a small Zurich jazz club. After 3 years in Europe and several appearances at local jazz festivals, he moved to New York where he was to spend the next 30 years of his life in exile. During that time he played and socialized with jazz legends such as Don Cherry, Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders and Cecil Taylor. This influence, paired with a growing unease with the events taking place in his home country, significantly shaped Ibrahim’s 1970s output. Albums like “Underground in Africa” (1974) combined his more traditional, folk-oriented jazz with modern fusion and rock elements. At the same time, song titles became increasingly political, with titles like “Mannenberg” (also 1974) addressing the expulsion of the black population from the townships of the Cape Flats. The song thus became one of the most concise anthems of the anti-apartheid movement.
Even though Ibrahim’s work is strongly influenced by his personal career as a South African living in exile, the ears of all music listeners tend to open when Abdullah Ibrahim sits down at the piano. With a career spanning more than 70 years and a life that has taken place in almost every part of the world, Ibrahim’s style has refined and finally decelerated over the years. The solo album “Solotude”, which was recorded in the lockdown-year 2020, reflects this in a unique way: with only a handful of microphones and sound engineers in the studio, Ibrahim sat down at the piano and recorded old and new pieces in an unprecedented intimacy.
J.A.W with Abdullah Ibrahim (fka. Dollar Brand) Solo Piano
Tuesday, 29.11.2022 | Doors 19:00 | Starts 20:00 CET
Haus des Rundfunks (Grosser Sendesaal) | Masurenallee 8-14 in 14057 Berlin