Film captures Abdullah

2016-03-29 06:00
Abdullah Ibrahim  PHOTO: Ines Kaiser

Abdullah Ibrahim PHOTO: Ines Kaiser

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Fans of South African jazz pioneer Abdullah Ibrahim can get a look at the man behind the legend with a new shortfilm about his musical philosophy.

Directed by Ian Henderson of local production company Thinkfilm, the production centres on a secret street performance by Abdullah in Church Square in the city centre. The film lifts the veil on the pianist in a deeply contemplative mood, reflecting on the spirit and source of his music.

The performance itself became an unexpected viral sensation, featuring on the front page of major newspapers throughout the country and trending on Twitter.

“At a stage in his career when many contemporaries have retired from active performance,” says Sevi Spanoudi, Abdullah’s manager, “Abdullah continues a single-minded pursuit of musical transcendence.”

“We wanted to go beyond the scope of traditional music documentaries, and capture a sense of the rich depth behind his music,” he says of the shortfilm, adding that audiences will want to watch the video in a quiet space.

“It has a meditative quality that’s at odds with our rushed lives – much like Abdullah’s music.”

He has maintained a lifelong dedication to the Budo martial arts form, training for more than fifty years under a Japanese master. Themes from both music and Budo are deeply intertwined throughout the film.

Abdullah’s recent visit to Cape Town saw him perform a solo concert at the open air Maynardville Amphitheatre in December, and he has just completed a sold-out tour of the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Next month Abdullah begins a series of dates in the United States, including a residency at the prestigious Library of Congress in Washington DC. V Visit for more.

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