Matsui sticks to SA ensemble

TRANS-RHYTHM: Jazz pianist Keiko matsui with percussionist Tlale Makhene in Newtown, Johannesburg, yesterday. Pic. Mohau Mofokeng. 12/09/07. © Sowetan.
TRANS-RHYTHM: Jazz pianist Keiko matsui with percussionist Tlale Makhene in Newtown, Johannesburg, yesterday. Pic. Mohau Mofokeng. 12/09/07. © Sowetan.

Edward Tsumele

Edward Tsumele

Keiko Matsui, the well-travelled Japanese-American pianist, sneaked into the country quietly this week to shoot a video for her new album, Moyo.

Matsui, a regular visitor to South Africa, revealed in an interview with Sowetan yesterday that she will take a full South African band with her on a tour of Japan tomorrow. They are scheduled to perform in Tokyo, Osaka and other venues in Japan.

Matsui is shooting her video at an invitation-only event this evening in Johannesburg, after which she will fly to Japan for a series of performances.

But Matsui's fans should not be disappointed that they will not be able to watch her perform this time around, because she will be back to tour the country next month.

"I have left behind my entire American band this time around, and I will tour with an entirely South African band. These guys are great, especially after working with them on Moyo. I will not regard having a South African band as a risk but as a challenge. I think they will live up to the standards and expectations judging from the rehearsals that we have done so far," she said.

The pianist has signed a deal with a local company, Bula Music, to distribute and market her music in South Africa.

"After I had been invited to perform here by Peter Tladi - T-Musicman boss - and having been invited to be at a private party of Hugh Masekela's nephew last year, I decided that this was the time to sign with a local recording company."

After our interview, it was back to rehearsals with local percussionist Tlale Makhene, who contributed to Moyo with top musicians Hugh Masekela, Jonas Gwangwa, Lucas Senyato and Lawrence Matshiza.

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