Dance to Darryl’s big band beats

2016-06-15 18:30
Darryl Andrews is hard at work getting his music charts in order for Nostalgia Nite at the Civic on Friday 14 June.

Darryl Andrews is hard at work getting his music charts in order for Nostalgia Nite at the Civic on Friday 14 June. (Gary van Dyk)

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When it comes to catching some big band beats Darryl Andrews is the man to call.

On Friday 24 June the Wittebome Civic Centre will be rocking as he hosts another Nostalgia Nite at the Civic but there’s more to this musician than meets the eye – or is it ear?
The talented guitarist, bassist, composer and arranger may be known to generations of music lovers for his work with groups like Missing Link, Mahogany, and MJ9 in his early years since 1994 he has been an integral part of producing the next generation of musical talents.

Currently teaching jazz studies at the College of Music at UCT the Plumstead resident explains that he knew music would be a part of his life since he was very young.
“Our family was originally from Durban and my parents played music with my dad playing guitar,” he says.
“I was seven when he bought my older brother a guitar and I cried that I also wanted one. Thank goodness that my tears worked because I loved playing as my dad taught us and we started playing anything we heard on radio.
“Then we moved to Cape Town to Walmer Estate and I had lost interest but at high school I met more people who were playing. Linda de Bruin was singing folk songs and playing guitar so I dusted off my guitar and the interest grew again.
“We started our own band, Gimmick, with people like Randy Groenemeyer, Kevin Verster on bass and we were playing using hi-fis. We did not even have proper gear but it was fun and we enjoyed it.
“Then Calvin Humbles got me into Missing Link and it just grew from there.”

Darryl explains that with no formal music education he started teaching himself because he knew that he wanted to take his career seriously.
“While I was part of Mahogany we used to rehearse all day but during the breaks I would be sitting with my books and that is how my knowledge grew.
“This eventually led to me being part of the band for the production of Guys and Dolls where Andrew Lilley was on keyboards.
“He was at UCT at the time but had to leave for further studies and he recommended me to take up his teaching post.
“The rest as they say is history and I have been there ever since.”

When it comes to hosting the nostalgic nights concerts he points out that it is not just about sitting down and enjoying the sounds.
“We are catering to the needs of a generation who used to go out and enjoy this kind of “jol” in their youth - and they still love those sounds.
“The music we play is music they know so it’s about getting up and dancing the night away. And, it’s also about friendships that were formed during those days and still stand today.
“The ’70s and ’80s was an exciting time for entertainment on the Cape Flats and people still want to enjoy that feeling - it keeps them and us young,” he laughs.

For the session on Friday 24 June Darryl has put together some top class players for his “little” big band who will be entertaining the punters.
These include Bruce Muirhead who shares the guitar seat with Darryl, Andrew Ford on keyboards, Shaun Johannes on bass, Frank Paco on drums and John Hassan on percussion.
There’s also a brass section with Vaughn Fransch and Dave Thompson on trumpets, Murray Buitendag on trombone, with Justin Bellairs, Zeke Le Grange and Georgia Jones on saxophone.
Adding to the sound will be vocalists TJ Simon, Amy Campbell, Kim Collins and Danielle Biton.
“It’s going to be a blast to bring back some great musical moments,” concluded Darryl.
Tickets for Nostalgia Nite at the Civic are R180 and you can bring your own refreshments with a cash bar in operation as well. Info and bookings from Margo on 083 526 9763 or email

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