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WHEN a short white man stepped up to receive the Sama's Jazz Album of the Year Award recently, many people might have been taken aback.
After all, Adam Glasser, pictured, is not well-known on these shores because he has been living in the UK for many years.
But he is a son of the soil. A harmonica player, he has played with the greatest - Sting, Martha Reeves, Jimmy Witherspoon, Incognito and The Eurythmics. He was the Manhattan Brothers pianist for 16 years.
As a youngster he used to frequent Johannesburg's Dorkay House and rubbed shoulders with musical greats.
"As a young white man I hungered to meet those phenomenal musicians and meeting them was awesome," he revealed.
During the height of the 1976 uprising, Glasser went to live with his father, who was teaching in London. There, his love for South African music grew stronger.
He orchestrated the recording of Inyembezi, which he thinks was never properly marketed.
But winning a Sama has resurrected his love for his country's music.
"I must be honest, I didn't make this album for the South African market. I was just compiling music.
"Had I known this album was going to be so accepted in my country, I'd have done it differently. I wouldn't have included some of the songs that I think I had targeted for the international market," he said.
But I disagree with him after listening to his album. It is so South African that I am not surprised he was awarded this honour.