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Live Jazz with the Melvin Peters Quartet.

March 5, 2014

Join four of South Africa’s top jazz musicians as they celebrate our country’s rich heritage. Melvin Peters on piano, Bruce Baker on drums, Jonathan Judge on saxophone, and Ildo Nandja on double bass, will be performing the hits that have made South African jazz famous.

When: Friday, 14th March, at 7pm.
Where: Room A1 at UKZN PMB. Park at the Hex and follow the signs.
Tickets: R50. Book with Sam on email: or phone: 083 257 9059



A tribute to Dave Brubeck.

March 3, 2013

On Wednesday night, 20th of March (Thurs the 21st is ‘Human Rights Day’), four of SA’s finest musicians will be paying tribute to Dave Brubeck, the legendary musician who brought jazz to the forefront of popular music. Brubeck passed away on 5th December, last year, one day before his 92nd birthday. Melvin Peters, who features in the tribute, performed with Brubeck in Harvard, and Brubeck took a keen interest in Peters’ development as a musician. The performance begins at 7pm and takes place at A1, adjacent to UKZN’s Hexagon Theatre. Tickets are R60 per person and booking is essential. Contact Sam on 083 257 9059. Free secure parking at The Hexagon Theatre car park.

Why Read Classical Literature?

October 19, 2011

Mike Lambert explaining why there is a statue of the Greek goddess Athena in the city of Pietermaritzburg.

It’s over two and a half millennia since Homer died, and he lived over four thousand miles away, so  what could he possibly still have to say to us, living at the bottom of Africa in 2011? Ask best-selling author, JK Rowling, lead singer of Coldplay, Chris Martin, or Nobel Prize winner, Nelson Mandela, who all studied the classics. And if you can’t ask them then come ask Mike Lambert, on Saturday 12 November, as he speaks on why we should still be reading Classical literature. Mike Lambert is a Classics lecturer at UKZN.

Date: 12 November
Time: 2.30 to 4pm
Venue: Royal Asia, Rear 241 Victoria Road (Behind LandMark, opposite FoodPak)

RSVP: Sam Groves on 0832579059 or 033-3868009

Click here for a map

Easter Live Jazz 2011 Review.

May 21, 2011

Natalie Rungan backed by the Bruce Baker Quartet. Images by Dave Larsen/Africa Media Online.

“It’s wonderful to perform in front of an audience that listens,” Natalie Rungan told the 150-strong group of music lovers at Abound’s second Easter Live Jazz Concert. Used to performing in the background, the Jazz musos relished the whoops, claps and calls for encore that this Pietermaritzburg audience served up.

Rungan was backed by the Bruce Baker Quartet made up of Bruce Baker on drums, Burton Naidoo on piano, Llewelyn Chetty on bass and Dane Francis on electric guitar.

Pulling together such talented and well disciplined musicians, and letting them loose on a stage, is bound to produce stimulating sounds- and it did! Some old jazz standards were played, and taken to new levels, along with some of Rungan’s own compositions, including tracks featured on her soon-to-be released album.

Once again, it was a great night of superb jazz. All those who attended were in awe of the talent that South Africa has produced over the years. Abound seeks to keep bringing this  local talent, to Pietermaritzburg audiences, at affordable prices.

Watch press for next year’s Abound Easter Festival.

Exclusive Natalie Rungan interview.

April 11, 2011

Durban’s Jazz Queen, Natalie Rungan (left), features on vocals in Abound’s Live Jazz Concert this Easter Weekend. Sarah Groves interviewed her, The Witness published it, and you can read it here.

Live Jazz 2011- bigger and better!

March 16, 2011

Abound’s annual Easter live Jazz concert is bigger and better this year- featuring The Bruce Baker Quartet and starring Natalie Rungan on vocals.

The venue is room DSLT at UKZN. Don’t know where that is? No problem. View the Google Map here.

Tickets are available  from at R50 per person or R25 per student/scholar. The show starts at 7pm.

Butterflies & Blackjacks launch- what you missed.

October 5, 2010

I had the honour of opening the launch of Clive Lawrance’s latest poetry book, Butterflies & Blackjacks. This is what I said:

“I only read 3 poets. And I am related by marriage to two of them. Does that disqualify me from opening a Poetry Book Launch? Not according to the third poet I read. Ted Kooser, who was the 13th Poet Laureate for the United States said that poetry used to be for the common man to enjoy, but now increasingly it’s just for other poets: “Poets have decided to write for each other. And because poets are sophisticated readers you can get by with more if you are writing for them than if you are writing for a guy at the gas station on the corner.” But Kooser believes that poetry can really do things for all people, really enhance their lives; that poetry can make our ordinary world look more interesting to everyone. And so to make sure that his poetry remained accessible Kooser would give the first draft of his poem to his secretary to read and whatever she couldn’t understand he would go back and make clearer.

Now it’s this exact quality that I admire in Clive’s poetry: it’s simple, it’s accessible and it makes you say: “Aha, that is just what life is like! That is just what our ordinary world is like – I couldn’t have said it better. That is how a bird looks at me! That is what a spider’s walk reminds me of! And that is the typical attitude of locusts these days!

Clive’s book is published by Abound, which is an NPO started by Church on the Ridge. Abound’s aim is to bring beauty to the city of PMB through the medium of the arts. And so it’s our hope that Clive’s poetry, accompanied by Stidy’s drawing will bring you much simple pleasure so that you can also say: Aha that is just what life is like! That is just what is so good about our ordinary world.”

Clive Lawrance (author) thanked all those involved in the project and read a few of his poems. John Roff  and Jeremiah Von Kuhn made some fine music. And then we all enjoyed some good food and wine in Clive’s quirky garden.

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