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

Writing songs: hook, line and sinker, part 2

So songwriting is a bit like fishing – you need a hook, a line and a sinker to ‘catch’ fans for the song. Let’s discuss.

First, hook. A hook is a catchy piece of music, a tune that is memorable and easily sticks in the mind. It is similar to the motif and leitmotif, in that it is a self-contained musical idea that identifies the song and gives it its hit quality.
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Writing songs: hook, line and sinker, part 1

Los Angeles, November 2007. I am sitting in a conference room near Los Angeles International Airport, with 2,000 other songwriters. I can either feel overwhelmed like a little fish in a very big pond, or I can just dive in and enjoy the wash of thousands of like minds. I choose to do the latter.
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Moshito – was it worth it?

Moshito – was it worth it?
Okay, so I wrote the first blog for Moshito before I eventually relented and decided to attend again this year. It was held at the SABC, as Sipho Sithole, who works at the national broadcaster, is the chairperson for Moshito.
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Moshito – is it worth it?

They say that familiarity breeds contempt. Well, maybe that’s true.

Moshito is the annual music conference held in Johannesburg, run in conjunction with the Department of Arts and Culture. I started attending in 2006, the third year it was held, after I did the certificate course for music marketing and management though Wits Plus at Wits University.
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The Fray? Hooray!

It’s not often that the lead singer of a band was so one-minded and clear about his choices that he knew exactly that music was the only thing that he should study. Enter Isaac Slade, lead singer and main songwriter of American rock band The Fray.
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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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Robin Williams and the power of gratitude

It was tragic to hear about the passing of Robin Williams. I was at a crucial moment in my life when our school headmaster encouraged us to go and watch Dead Poets Society, with its motto of carpe diem or ‘seize the day’ and ‘go and suck the marrow out of life.’ So I guess Robin Williams has always had a major influence on my life, because since that day I have always tried to seize every day, and suck the marrow out of life.
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The super-regional centre, part 1

You may be asking yourself why I am doing a whole series on super-regional centres.

Well, the answer is complex, but the simple version is: product. Remember, one of the fundamental elements of good marketing is a good product. This is something we will be picking up on as I blog.
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