Trumpeting to the top

2016-04-19 06:00
Shaw Komori, impressed and motivated by Josh Groban’s passion and love for his craft during performances. PHOTO: gary van dyk

Shaw Komori, impressed and motivated by Josh Groban’s passion and love for his craft during performances. PHOTO: gary van dyk

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While Josh Groban may have sung his way into the hearts of his fans in Cape Town last week, a young trumpeter from SACS blew up a storm to make his mark in the performance.

Shaw Komori, a Grade 12 learner at the school in Newlands, became the talk of the town on various social media and on some radio chat shows for his performance with the acclaimed singer at the GrandWest Arena.

While he may have reached some high notes in his performance, the 17-year-old musician is humble about the accolades that have been pouring in for him and confesses that there is a lot he still has to learn.

“I played on the jazz standard That Ol’ Devil Moon and while I love jazz I am more classically trained,” he said.

“The performance with Josh Groban was very exciting and the experience has just been more of a motivation for me to follow my dream of becoming a professional – but I want to study the jazzier side of things,” he laughs.

Born in Japan as the son of South African mom and a Japanese father, they moved to South Africa when he was six and started lessons in Grade 4.

“My sister played and I wanted to do everything that she did,” he jokes.

“The funny thing is at that young age I could get a sound out of it the first time I tried, so I knew that it was the instrument for me.”

How did he end up on stage with Groban?

“My teacher, Mike Blake, called my out of the blue and asked if I have a video of me playing. He explained that it was for the organisers of the Groban concert.

“When I learned that they were looking for a young player to be featured, my first reaction was that I was not in that ‘calibre’. Hey, there’s all these hip cats at UCT and other institutions and I was a ‘classical’ player.

“But, I did as I was told and then came the news that I would be playing.”

Shaw confessed that he was really not a Josh Groban “fan”, but the experience has inspired him to realise how much the singer simply loves singing to his audience.

“You quickly realise that stardom means very little to him when he is on stage. It’s all about the music; his passion for every song that comes through, and you as a performer can’t help to be inspired by it.”

If you missed the performances with Josh Groban you don’t have to wait for Shaw’s next call-up from a touring star. He will be a soloist at the school’s SACS Concerto Festival that will be taking place on Wednesday 18 May from 19:00. Tickets are available at for R80.

V To catch a glimpse of Shaw’s performance check videos on and a shorter clip on

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