Kenny G in concert

One of the highest selling artists of all time, Kenny G has single-handedly made the saxophone a hit amongst music lovers. Perhaps it is the raspy mid-tones of the saxophone that lend it an air of intimacy, or maybe it’s Read more

Splashy Fen is the ultimate Easter concert

It’s been going since 1990, and Easter 2015 will be the 26th year for the Splashy Fen music festival. I have yet to learn why the music event is called Splashy Fen, though I do believe that the farm it Read more

Oppikoppi, a whole series of concerts rolled into one

The small town of Northam in Limpopo Province comes to life every August. Technically it’s spring if you calculate that you are halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox and you don’t factor in seasonal lag, but Read more

Richard Clayderman in concert

No doubt the mysterious Frenchman’s greatest gift to the world musically has been “Ballad for Adeline.” Composed by Paul de Senneville and Olivier Toussaint in 1976, the co-writers could never have imagined how big the song would become, because disco Read more

Albert Hammond in concert

This is not a name that rolls off the tongue like Madonna or Michael Jackson or Elvis, but Albert Hammond has had an amazing music career anyway. A native of the UK, he has done a considerable body of work Read more

Mamma Mia! heads back to Jozi in 2015

The smash hit musical based on the music of those 4 Swedes (well, actually 3 Swedes and a half-Norwegian) returns to the Teatro at Montecasino in Johannesburg, for a limited season run from Tuesday 24 March 2015 to Sunday Read more

Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse is NOT too cool for school!

On 1 October the Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City hosted Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse in concert. It’s been 30 years since his hit “Burnout” tore up the charts, and, according to the write-up for his show, 50 years since Read more


PJ Powers: still so strong

It must have been at least 10 years ago that I went with some friends to Gillooly’s Farm in Bedfordview, one early spring day before the rains came. There she was, walking down the pathway towards the restaurant, with a couple of her mates. Now I must admit, I have never been much of a groupie, but when saw her (and if I’m not mistaken, it was actually a fellow muso friend who pointed her out to me), I ran up to her like a big kid in a sweet shop, and spoke to her. I first said that I loved her music, and that I was also trying to get more into the music industry.

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Music and smart marketing

This blog follows on from the previous one. Okay, let’s give away a trade secret here, which is really not that hard to figure out. How do you extend the life of a music brand, and milk it like the cash cow that it is, for all it is worth? You turn it into a stage play or a movie, or better still, even both.
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Movie Review: Jersey Boys

This blog only ever reviews music movies, or movies either with a strong musical theme or particularly noticeable music.
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The zen of Bennett

I have written about Tony Bennett before, but I need to write about him again.

It’s August 2014, and Tony has just turned 88 (I am, of course, very proud that I share my birthday with him in the month of August, as I do with Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Shania Twain).

I recently bought his book, Life is a Gift. It is a wonderful, inspiring read. In my opinion, anybody who is still singing and performing at the age of 88, after a 60-year career in music, is worthy of emulation and study. I hope that when I am 88 I will still be performing and singing, wherever, whenever.
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The power of the mind

Again, if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you will know that we don’t just discuss music, but life in general as it relates to music. So what does the power of the mind have to do with music?

I was doing my licentiate in singing through Rockschool back in 2009 (let me brag for a moment and say that I was the first person in the world to attempt the new singing licentiate through Trinity Guildhall Rockschool, and I passed it with distinction).
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Straddling the border between two careers, part 3

So there you have it: first do the one and then the other, or delegate the one away, or find ways to integrate the two in ways that you never thought were possible, which will overcome the torture that you feel of having to choose between the two. I have used the third option to successfully integrate a music career with one in marketing, which includes having lectured on music marketing, growing my own personal brand, and doing my doctorate in marketing communications, but in the music industry (read the blog post about James Blunt’s undergrad dissertation on music for his degree in sociology).
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Straddling the border between two careers, part 1

I write this article for myself as much as for the next musician. But before we get there, you may be asking yourself what this whole blog is all about (not just this post), and who is it for? Who is it aimed at?

Perhaps it would be too general to say that it’s aimed at the music content creator (the artist), the person who makes the music, and it’s also aimed at the music content consumer (the listener), who will hear the music and then make a decision about is likeability. Read more

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Of city feuds and music rivalries

Johannesburg versus Cape Town. New York versus Los Angeles. Sao Paulo versus Rio de Janeiro. Tokyo versus Osaka. Cities often come in pairs, and more often than not they are connected by air. But there is also often a rivalry between them, which may often manifest in a musical way.
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Meatloaf: he’d do anything for love, like a bat out of hell

One of my favorite scenes from a movie is one in Notting Hill, with Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant. She is a famous actress, he the ordinary English gent that she has inadvertently fallen in love with. Read more

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The science of singing, part 3: the ear

Following goals and the voice, we have the ear.

A lot of people sing the tune (pardon the pun) that they are tone deaf.

Now many people will disagree with me – but the ability to recognise sounds at a certain frequency is actually a function of the brain. If people were truly ‘tone deaf’ then they would not have the ability to recognise and enjoy songs. If you turn on the radio, your dog does not start dancing to the tune because s/he does not recognise the sounds as a song. Read more

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