Music runs in guitarist’s veins

2016-07-12 12:03
Lyle Syster is ready to show off his guitar and vocal skills at West End in College Road, Rylands, on Friday 15 July to give you a taste of his debut recording.

Lyle Syster is ready to show off his guitar and vocal skills at West End in College Road, Rylands, on Friday 15 July to give you a taste of his debut recording. (Gary van Dyk)

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Music is an important part of life for the Syster family, from Mitchell’s Plain, with four generations involved in the business.

But a guitarist in the new era is on a mission to share his grooves on a bigger stage.

Lyle Syster may only be 17 but on Friday 15 July he will be giving the world a taste of the music that will be featured on his debut CD.

Lyle is currently a Grade 11 learner at Glendale High School.

It’s no surprise that the music bug has bitten this young singer and guitarist, says his dad Jeremy, who runs an events company and sells audio and visual equipment.

He explains the rich legacy of music in the family: “Music has always been part of our family. From my great grand-dad to my granddad, uncles and my mom and dad, there was always music in our home.

“From a young age Lyle was experiencing this, going to help me set up at gigs and then meeting some of the legends in the business and they inspired him.”

Despite his youth Lyle has built up a reputation of playing with the best in the business.

“I could not help loving music. My mom, Shereen, is a gospel singer and my father used to play lead and bass guitar with many bands in the past,” says Lyle.

“When I was five I wanted to play drums and even had Frank Paco as a teacher but when I was eight the guitar grooves of people like George Benson and Jonathan Butler grabbed me. I can express myself better on guitar and with my vocals.”

Lyle started his “professional” career as guitarist with bassist Sammy Webber (his role model) and has gone on to play with the likes of Frank Paco, Camillo Lombard, Wesley Rustin, the Glen Robertson Jazz Band, and also played with music students from Norway during their visit here.

In 2014, he started his own group, The Lyle Syster Project, and they’ve already played at some of the top spots in the peninsula.

He was also part of the recent Artscape Youth Jazz Festival.

Jeremy adds that learning music has empowered his son in other aspects of his life.

“Learning music has played a big role in his life beyond the stage,” he says.

“At school he is the deputy-head boy and part of the RCL as well as being involved with leadership programmes to help fellow learners.

“Most importantly the discipline involved in music has guided him to achieve good marks in his studies.”

The concert, An Intimate Night with Lyle Syster, will be hosted at West End in College Road, Rylands and will feature special guest Shandre Petersen on vocals with Harry Kanjedza on drums, Lesley Canary on bass and Angelo Bagley on keyboards.

While many may enjoy his guitar groove the young musician is actually looking beyond music as a career.

“I love my music, playing guitar and singing, but I want to study in the business banking field,” he says.

“What I have experienced is that music gives you an insight into what you are capable of with hard work and discipline.

“The arts and music should be used in our schools more to make youth realise what they are capable of without resorting to drugs and crime.

“My message to young people is that it does not matter what circumstances you come from. Always strive for the best and don’t allow negative circumstances or people to influence you.”
Tickets for An Intimate Night with Lyle Syster are R70, available at the door or from Jeremy on 072 924 0212. Doors open at 20:00.

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