My husband celebrated his birthday on the eleventh of February and apart from the usual fanfare we throw when it comes to celebrations of this nature, he decided to break tradition of going out for supper, opting to attend a concert instead:-)
The concert was a Love, Jazz and Duets show featuring South African artists, Zayn Adams, Nur Abrahams, Salome, Candice Thornton, Don Vino Prins and Jonathan Rubain. The show was held in the Baxter Theatre at the University of Cape Town in a delightfully intimate setting. The foyer of the theatre was buzzing with people, surprising me, considering it was a week-night! Seeking our seats and scanning the sea of faces, the crowd was mature and music-loving.
Show time began with the lights dimming, the only spotlights visible were those illuminating the stage. On either side of the theatre, melodious tones were carried by two musicians floating down the staircase, settling in the limelight. They were Jonathan Rubain playing the base guitar and Don Vino Prins on the saxophone. Following on their trail was renowned artist Nur Abrahams singing “Secret Garden”, flanked by the rest of the line-up.
I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing Nur Abrahams perform before, so I was aware of his singing prowess, however this time around I was utterly astounded by his uncanny ability to mimic original artists’ voices and flavour it with his own velvety tone. He belted out powerful renditions of “Love times Love” and my favourite crooner’s song “My, my, my” with the sexy sounds of the saxophone puffed by Don Vino Prins. He sang a rendition of one of my favourite songs “Elvina” and I was rendered speechless. I truly felt as if I was listening to Beau Williams in the vision of Nur Abrahams! Wow, from these sultry songs, I could already predict we were in for soulful journey down memory lane and I was feeling nostalgic and in my element!
Next up was Jonathan Rubain, an up and coming artist on the base guitar who serenaded the crowd with “This I promise you” a song he performed for his wife on her twenty-first birthday. In all honesty, I could feel the passion streaming through him when he strummed this romantic ballad. Oh my word, goose bumps were electrifying my soul with the delightful sounds embracing my senses.
Candice Thornton strolled in and as I’ve never seen her perform before, I didn’t quite know what to expect. She sang “Close the door” and I was baffled as to how a woman could take on this raunchy Teddy Pendergrass number and claim it her own? I was mesmerized by her smooth chocolate voice and fell under her spell, wanting her sweet and melodious voice to flow into my mind and fill every fibre in my being. Her performance left me soft, relaxed and in need of more tender loving care.
Alas, this was not to be for prancing onto the stage was Salome purring “Private Dancer”, an alluring rendition of this timeless classic. Salome is a performer of note, her voice is explosive and brimming with sex appeal. Her singing was sensational as she crooned out “For the love of you” and “I know him so well”. I was pretty much bedazzled after her captivating performance.
Out blazed Zayn Adams and the crowd erupted! It was obvious he was the star of the show and the magnetic force behind their attendance. He sang some of his own hugely popular songs like “Give a little love”, “Il Mondo” and “Love is in the air”. Oh my goodness, he sure knows how to infect the crowd with love, romance and wistfulness.
We were in for a treat when Jonathan Rubain and Don Vino Prins staged a play-off to the delight of the crowd. Don Vino Prins opened with the classic “When I fall in love” and “When a man loves a woman” both beautifully serenaded with his saxophone. Jonathan Rubain played “One hundred ways” and concluded his musical match with “Can’t be with you tonight” and the throng erupted for everybody loves a Judy Boucher classic! No wonder he won:-).
The full ensemble performed a medley of Peaches and Herb songs “Remember”, “Let’s fall in love”, “Let it be me”, “Your mine and we belong together” and not forgetting the famed favourite “Re-united”, the lyrics echoed by music-lovers, clapping joyfully along.
The highlight of the evening, amidst this musical buffet, was a performance by Nur Abrahams and Candice Thornton singing “Finally found someone”. The combination of their talents and unique voices sealed the moment, sending shivers down my musical spine, holding me hypnotized, until I collapsed in a pool of love.
Oh my gosh, this concert set the tone for a week of love leading up to Valentine’s day. It reminded me of musical stalwarts of yesteryear who sang glorious songs in rich voices, conveying immense meaning and heartfelt feelings to lyrics, cocooned with melodies showering your senses, seeping into your soul. And even though these legendary music icons don’t reside on our shores, we are incredibly blessed to have our own brew of South African artists who are talented beyond measure and make us so proud to be part of this country. If you have the chance of seeing any of them live, please support them wholeheartedly:-)