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Abdullah Ibrahim & Ekaya

Abdullah Ibrahim & Ekaya

Abdullah Ibrahim & Ekaya
@ the Royal Festival Hall
14 November 2017

Click an image to enlarge.


Born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1934, Abdullah Ibrahim was instinctively influenced by songs of Africa, Jazz and religious teachings. He received piano lessons from the age of seven, converting from amateur to professional musician around the age of fifteen, becoming a member of The Tuxedo Slickers Willie Max Big Band. Ibrahim met South African jazz vocalist Sathima Bea Benjamin through music, they married in1965.

Duke Ellington was so impressed by the later formed Dollar Band Trio (which included Abdullah Ibrahim on piano, Johnny Gertze on bass and Makaya Ntshoko on drums), after listening to them at the Africana Club in Zürich. He arranged a recording session for the band with Reprise Records. Appearances at major festivals, television and radio shows were to follow.

In 1966 Ibrahim led the Duke Ellington Orchestra touring the United States. He recalls;

“I did five dates substituting for him. It was exciting but very scary, I could hardly play”.

Abdullah Ibrahim, (who had changed his name after converting to Islam in the late 1960’s) by now had found his true vocation as a ‘band leader’. He continued playing at concerts and clubs throughout the United States, Montreux, North Sea and other major festivals.

After extensive travel and exploration, Ibrahim returned to South Africa in the mid 1970’s, but found the political climate unbearably ‘oppressive’, so felt forced to return to New York.

Ibrahim wrote the soundtrack for the film ‘ Chocalat’ in 1988, which not only won critical acclaim, but also an award. This was the start of a fruitful journey in film music, the most recent being the soundtrack to “No Fear, No Die”. He continues to be a ‘musically expressive’ deeply religious individual with many successful projects under his belt. Touring and recording extensively over many years, Ibrahim has recorded a wealth of material for Enja Records and he appears not to be slowing in pace as his recognition and admiration continues to grow.

Abdullah Ibrahim & Ekaya

Abdullah Ibrahim & Ekaya Abdullah Ibrahim & Ekaya

Abdullah Ibrahim & Ekaya

Abdullah Ibrahim & Ekaya

Abdullah Ibrahim & Ekaya



Water From An Ancient Well The Mountain Mindif African Sun



Click the image below to see more photographs of Abdullah Ibrahim...

Abdullah Ibrahim @ the Royal Festival Hal (click to go to his page)

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