Video - Abdullah Ibrahim Plays Jazz Piano - Lugano Jazz Festival 1999

This is a wonderful video of Abdullah Ibrahim playing “Cape Town Flower” from the Lugano Jazz Festival, recorded in Lugano, Switzerland in 1999. His trio playing in this recording is superb, and they are one of the very best groups he has performed with. I love listening to Abdullah Ibrahim. He is a superb pianist and composer. His music is so diversified, with major influences from his native Cape Town, South Africa, and more from musicians from all over the world. His playing is a rich composite of elements from Jazz, Blues, and Ethnic African music.

Born in 1932 in Cape Town, South Africa, Abdullah Ibrahim began his musical journey early on. He was eager to take piano lessons at the age of 7. He studied recordings of Jazz music brought over by American sailors. His professional career began in 1949. He later moved to Europe, New York City, and then back to Cape Town for a while.

Much of his music revolves around musical memories from his childhood. Distinct features of African, Gospel, and Blues, are the foundation of his unique Jazz sound. Thelonius Monk and Duke Ellington were strong contributors to the sound he has created.

Learning to play improvisation has much to do with listening to and hearing what other musicians have done. I teach piano in Portland, Oregon. When my piano students express an interest in studying Jazz or Blues Piano, I often suggest Abdullah Ibrahim as someone to study. His music is accessible compared to most mainstream Jazz. Piano students will find it easier to understand. Abdullah Ibrahim has recorded many albums, and has contributed immensely to the world of Jazz piano history.

Some of Abdullah Ibrahim Best Albums
Anatomy Of A South African Village
African Sun
African Suite – For Trio And String Orchestra
African Marketplace
African Magic
Africa – Tears And Laughter
African Dawn

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