Helderberg Concerts

Enjoy the sunset with Virtual Jazz Reality

Bring your picnic and relax to the sound of jazz masters, Virtual Jazz Reality, at 17:30 on Sunday, 6 February 2011 at the Helderberg Nature Reserve in Somerset West.

Formed in 1993, Virtual Jazz Reality (VJR) comprises some of the most respected, versatile and experienced artists on the South African music scene. Collectively and/or individually, they have performed throughout Africa, the United Kingdom, America (New Orleans and New York), Far East, UAE (Dubai), Australia, Sweden, Denmark and elsewhere in Europe.

The band's jazz repertoire includes over 100 original compositions (some of which have reached the top of the jazz charts) and all the popular jazz standards.

The band has done numerous television and radio specials and has worked with artists such as Pavarotti, Jonathan Butler, Shirley Bassey, Liberace, Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela, Bono, Anastasia, Shakatak, Latoya Jackson, Judith Sephuma (a former member of VJR) and Jimmy Dludlu.

Comprising Ian Smith (trumpet, flugelhorn, and vocals), Andrew Ford (keyboards, drums and bass), Sammy Webber (bass and vocals) and Frank Paco (drums and vocals), VJR have impressive individual pedigrees as band leaders, studio musicians, music educators and performers.

Having played with numerous ensembles of his own creation including Concert Boulevard, Pound Seats, MJ-9, The Tony Schilder Quartet, Airborne and Inside Out, Ian Smith is one of the most sought after studio musicians. His prowess as a trumpet player has also earned him a place as a soloist for the UCT Big Band and for the CAPAB and CTSO orchestras. He was also one of the influential figures, along with Prof Mike Campbell, in the formation of the Cape Jazz Orchestra.

Andrew Ford has studied piano and percussion - both classical and jazz - for the past sixteen years and in 1980 began performing with the Richmond-Upon-Thames Youth Band in London. Despite having performed extensively with his own trios and groups (Inside Out), as well as being a regular with the CAPAB, CTSO and Cape Jazz Orchestra, his talents as a producer are extensive. His appointment as musical director for B&S Studios while at the same time running his own successful recording studio, the ‘Nuthouse', bears tribute to this fact.

Sammy Webber has been playing bass from the impressionable age of 17 and started playing in his first band at the age of only 19. Since then he has played with the successful duo U-Turn with Tony Paulse and is also the bass player for Inside Out and MJ-9. As news of his ability begins to spread he is increasingly in demand as a session musician and is considered a vital contributor by the members of VJR.

Self-taught musician, Frank Paco, started playing drums at the age of 16 whilst living in Mozambique. He has performed with Zairian born French singing sensation Papa Wemba, South African renowned vocalist Miriam Makeba and has toured with Afrojazz band Sakhile. More recently he featured on the FNB and Gold album by Jimmy Dludlu, “Echoes From The Past" and is currently studying music at the UCT College of Music.

On Sunday they will be joined by up-and-coming talent, Adelia Douw, singer for the Delft Big Band, another of Ian Smith's successful projects.

The concert starts at 17:30 and tickets can be bought at the gate or at the Information Centre in the Reserve. The cost is R30 per adult and R10 for scholars. There is no admission fee for children under the age of five. The proceeds of the concerts are used to support environmental education projects at the Reserve. Phone (021) 851-4060 for enquiries or visit the website:. www.helderbergnaturereserve.co.za

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