Happy Birthday Abdullah Ibrahim

October 09, 1934

 

Whoza Mtwana/Maraba Blue/
Joan Cape Town Flower

Pianist and composer Abdullah Ibrahim was born on October 9, 1934 in Cape Town, South Africa.

After studying at Juilliard, Ibrahim, as part of the Jazz Epistles, recorded the first jazz album by black South Africans.

He has since toured globally and recorded as a soloist and leader of small combos and big bands.

How did music like this come out of Cape Town, South Africa?

Start with one sensitive child absorbing all the influences of a port town including traditional African songs, Gospel and Indian ragas. American sailors provided the jazz records. Ellington and Monk were huge influences.

By 15 Abrahim was playing professionally.

In 1962, Duke Ellington heard him while in Europe and out came the record 泥uke Ellington presents The Dollar Brand Trio” which put him on the map. (Before becoming a Muslim Abdullah Ibrahim’s name was Dollar Brand.)