Maestro makes music in the city

2016-05-19 10:09
Ibrahim Khalil Shihab, maestro musician and composer, will be showcasing his music at The District Six Homecoming Centre.

Ibrahim Khalil Shihab, maestro musician and composer, will be showcasing his music at The District Six Homecoming Centre. (gary van dyk)

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A musician who has given Cape Town more than “a little love” will be coming home to The Homecoming Centre in District Six on Friday 27 May.

Ibrahim Khalil Shihab was born Chris Schilder into the famous Schilder musical dynasty and needs little introduction to generations of music lovers – most notably for being part of Pacific Express and the song made famous by Zayn Adams, Give a Little Love. But it started way before that.
As a 15-year-old in the early 60s, he formed his first group with his brothers Jacky on drums and Philly on bass and went on to record one of the sought-after albums by collectors, Spring, that also featured Winston Mankunku on sax and Gary Kriel on guitar.
“Yes, I started composing music long before my stint with Pacific Express and Spring was my debut album, featuring my earliest compositions,” he reflects.
“I grew up in a house filled with music and learned a lot from my elder brothers Richard and Tony – which helped me to a certain extent – but my style developed over the years by listening to classical music and following my inner voice.
“However, I was influenced by Charlie Parker, Oscar Peterson and Ahmad Jamal in the early years.”

Looking back at his time with Pacifics he felt that it was an exciting period in his career.
“There were some great musicians in the band who inspired me to do my very best musically during the time of the struggle in the years of apartheid, when experienced and seasoned musicians were performing so well but had to endure and contend with second-rate recording studios and bad productions.
“That spurred me on to write and compose all the material for the two albums Black Fire and Pacific Express on Time.”

After leaving Pacific Express he formed Concert Boulevard with drummer Monty Weber and then was part of Workforce at the Village Pub in Maitland before heading for the overseas circuit.
“I have been away from Cape Town for many years and wasn’t afforded the opportunity to further my career as a composer.
“Therefore, the upcoming concert provides the perfect setting for me to showcase my current compositions and it also includes that famous song,” he laughs.
Another reason not to miss this concert is that Shihab will be performing songs destined for a new recording.
Working with him on this concert is bassist Lionel Beukes, Buddy Wells on sax, and Liam Webb on drums.
The District Six Homecoming Centre is at 15 Buitenkant Street. Tickets are R120 and available online on
For more information call 076 415 7244.


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