sexta-feira, 16 de janeiro de 2015

The dancer “My hips are weapons of mass destruction”

“My hips are weapons of mass destruction”

Article by Estacios Valoi

Pictures: Rob Piper and Karol studio
I had to go with the wind and not lose focus, lest I be taken in by its whirlwind I thought after being invited to attend the annual “Power Reporting” conference by Wits University in Johannesburg. I decided to mix up a trip to Cape Town while I was at it. The aim was to see some friends and hang out at all those groovy jazz halls I had learnt to love. 

I had to see Zolani Mohala and her baby; I was an uncle again! And also wanted to visit Marilyn Thompson, Jenny Fletcher, Sylvia Vollenhonvense, Bazil Appolis and many others. Sorry but is a big list and I do not intend to fill a phone directory with everyone I intended to see.

I certainly had to pass by “Long Street”, enjoy its atmosphere, hang out there the entire night until sunrise, for a second hangover. However travelling on the Jazz roads halls, Mahogany, Crypt, Mercury, Camisa, which were some of the places I had come to know to look out for when looking for good sound.  But it just wasn’t my lucky day. 
With Hazel and Rob in tow we end up in “Aldi wan-Café restaurant” where I was introduced to Karol the Belly Dancer and the best way of capturing her dancing was through my tape recorder. It luckily still had space for one more conversation between two people.
The place is situated on the main road of Sea Point, on the end side of Green point, by the Promenade.
Oh Karol, she danced and talked to me, all at the same time.

Karol is a professional belly dancer, who has been dancing for more than twelve years. Influenced by her mother’s dancing which included Jazz, Flamenco, Karol started learning dancing from DVD’s and other available tools, supported by some South African and international teachers at workshops, but for the most part she is self-taught.
Her dance style ranges from Egyptian, Lebanese, Arabic and Turkish styles but she has a deep passion and love for the Egyptian style though. She is not a veteran but she has been performing in and outside South Africa such as Iraq and other places. Before her performance she told me her “hips are weapons of massive destruction”.

The next time I saw her, she was dancing. And inside those clothes she was somebody different and I was so astonished. The way she dances, her hips gyrating along with the sound of the drum, her body imitatating the music that plays.
In 2014 during the Miss Belly Dance South Africa Competition in Johannesburg she met some three or four Mozambican Belly dancers and they were very good. One of them won the drum solo category.
“So you really have some great talent in your country.” she tells me. At the time however Carol was just a spectator and she hopes to participate in this year’s competition.  
EV-Where did you grow up, where are you from?
KS- I grew up in Johannesburg and I was introduced to dance by my mum. She did ballet, jazz and modern dancing. I started ballet at the age of three, followed by flamenco, Spanish dance and tap-dance. I actually had my debut in a Spanish dance company at the tender age of five. I think I was the youngest dancer in the company at that time. I have always loved dance. 
I didn’t feel ballet was for me, I was slender but, I always thought I was too fat for ballet, since all the girls were so skinny but ballet gave me a good foundation where dance training was concerned. When I started high school, I sort of became fascinated with everything Arabic, the language, the music and its culture.

EV- Dancing is either like the first or the last movement of a human being. What is it for you?
KS- Movement is freedom. Dance is freedom. If I didn’t have dance, I would die. I become depressed when I don’t dance for a certain amount of time. Dance is an outlet, an expression. We can put any emotion into it, whether it’s anger or sadness. Anything can be expressed through dance and movement.

EV- On the stage do you dance better when expressing anger, happiness…or which?

KS- I think it depends on each performance. According to some of my friends, I apparently dance better when I’m angry. I find that quite funny. But anything you feel at the time, you just put it into the dance. And belly dance is all about showing your audience what the music sounds like visually, so your body imitates the instruments that are playing in the music. Your dance is a visual explanation of the music and with that, you tell a story to your audience.

EV- What kind of stories?

KS- It all depends on the music. If it is something that is slow and sensual, you convey that to them. If it is fast and cheeky, like in a drum solo, which is also very energetic, then that is what you portray through your movements. Drum solos are definitely my favorites. I quite enjoy the more cheeky kind of music.

EV- You were dancing with different props and you came with a drum. Tell us about that.

KS-In belly or Arabic dance sometimes you can use different props during your performance. What I did last night was a modern fusion. Instead of just using my body, you make use of other props to entertain the audience. I do believe however that a good dancer should be able to entertain the audience without any props or extras. Yesterday I used a blue silk fan, veils and the sword, balancing it on my head and hips. So my performance was definitely a fusion of Egyptian style with modern fusion. It’s very exciting and captivating for the audience. It’s kind of like magic and it is interesting for the audience, it is something different.

EV-Talking about the sword and the different audiences. Someone who almost had a heart attack or fainted while you were dancing for them?

KS-I danced at a function for a man who was turning 80 years old. And I was joking with my colleagues, saying I wonder if his wife wanted him to have a heart attack. Luckily he did survive the performance; he seemed to enjoy it quite a lot. I haven’t really had any bad experience with any audience members, like heart attacks or those things. But belly dance is a very sensual dance, very feminine and sometimes you can’t help but be sort of sexy. But I think it’s sexy in a very sophisticated, modest kind of way.

EV- You have performed in several places. Where?

KS- Obviously I have been performing as the resident dancer at Al Diwan in Sea Point. I have been there for almost seven years. I have also performed as a guest performer at Mesopotamia in Long Street, and I do private functions, some of which have been at the Hilton, Fire & Ice hotel in Cape Town. All over Cape Town and South Africa and overseas. Few months ago I performed in the Middle East, in Jordan, at a wedding. It was only for ladies as it was appropriate in terms of the culture there.

EV-And the different kinds of dresses you wear? Yesterday’s one and the black one in your pictures do they describe a special, stunning movement and a different kind of style?

KS-Obviously the costume depends on the style of the belly dance you are doing. Last night was a modern Egyptian style with a bit of fusion and the costume that I wore was a tight fitting skirt with lots of bead work and a bra that was also very heavily embellished with beads. Also the costume depicts the style of dance. So you saw the photos of the black dress? That was for an Iraqi gypsy dance that I performed at the International Oriental Dance Festival last October. 
You get Egyptian style belly dance and within that is a whole bunch of folkloric dance styles like Said, Gawazee and a lot of other different styles. Then you have Lebanese belly dance, from Lebanon, that is a different style altogether. Usually the dancer wears high-heeled shoes and very sort of chunky beadwork that embellish the costumes. You have Turkish style originating in Turkey, also with different kinds of costumes which tend to be a little bit more risqué than the Egyptian style costumes. The movements also differ.

EV- Can you explain a bit more about the costumes, the skirt with tiers of small beads?

KS-The beads are there to emphasize the movement of the hips. We use skirts with heavy bead work around the hip area. So when you doing the shimmy, that’s when you are standing and shaking your body, the audience can easily see the movements of the hips. Nowadays the Egyptian costumes are becoming less embellished, using more shiny materials and less beadwork.

EV-So we are here sitting and talking. Meanwhile you moving your shoulders, your head, hands... It’s something special; in fact it’s exceptional!

KS-Like I said when a dancer listens to the music, you visually show the piece of music, you are telling a story.  I didn’t choreograph last night’s performance, I was free styling, I just went for it. It’s always important to use the music that you are familiar with, especially music that you can feel. If you don’t feel the music it will be a disaster. This is something very important when it comes to Arabic music and dance. I dance for a lot of Arabic people that come to the restaurant, so it’s very important to use the right music because you also have an educated audience and belly dance originated from the Middle East. 
If you have this kind of clientele, in terms of music, you must make sure that your music has lyrics, you must know what the lyrics mean. Be sure you are not dancing something that might offend your audience and the music must also be authentic. If the audience enjoys it, it makes it a lot easier to dance, because you can feel the energy of your crowd.

EV- In what kind of audience you feel more comfortable. Familial one?

KS-To give you a bit of background on Arabic dance, which is originally from the Middle East; it was a dance which was performed by women for other women, as a dance of fertility. So in the Middle East today, it is still performed as such. Like in the Jordan when I was dancing at the wedding, the audience was only female. In Egypt and Lebanon it’s more acceptable to dance in front of a mixed audience. 
It’s often perceived by the Western world as a cultural thing or part of Arab culture, but belly dance is actually quite frowned upon like the set up at Al Diwan. Traditionally in the Middle East, a lot of men go to shisha lounges, so sometimes the audience at Al Diwan can be more male dominant. It is definitely nice to dance for a mixed crowd, men and women. It makes it a lot more comfortable for the dancer.

EV- Puppet leaders and dictators like Mugabe, king Swati III, Jose Eduardo dos Santos.. have their own forms of weapons.. mentality of mass destruction. In your case your “weapons of mass destruction” are your hips and how do you use them?

KS-I joke about my hips being weapons of mass destruction, I suppose some would say weapons of mass seduction. It’s just a funny thing. People perceive belly dance in different ways. Some people see it as something funny, others as something sexy, like the joke with the performance at the 80-year old man’s birthday. You know, you don’t want to give your audience a heart attack, should they be on the sort of elderly side. I mean it’s something that can be perceived as sexy. Perhaps that’s where the hips being weapons of mass destruction or seduction comes from. Depending on how you see it.

EV- Apart from dancing what are you hobbies?

KS- I’m always dancing and without it I would be empty. I’m very boring as a person and I think the most exciting thing I do is belly dancing. I’m quite the party pooper, I don’t go out, in fact I hate going out. My friends have to drag me out of my house. But in my free time I like just to chill out, relax. I love food, and eating, so thank goodness I dance a lot! Otherwise I would be 5 times bigger than what I am now.

EV-The way you cook, is it the same way in which you like your dance?

KS- I like to listen to music when I cook. We’ve had some interesting experiences in my kitchen when I had my mother and grandmother with me. We had three generations in the kitchen, all together and depending on the music we do actually dance when we cook, it’s very interesting.

EV- What is your favorite food to cook?

KS- I really like Middle Eastern food but for dinner I could even cook pasta. My food can be as colorful as my costumes. I don’t really go by recipes, it comes as free style, just like with some of my dances and I just put a little bit of everything in there and wait for the results. Hopefully it’s something good.

Professional performer & instructor
Studio Tarab Middle Eastern Belly Dance

segunda-feira, 5 de janeiro de 2015

“ I'm Still trying to be into South Africa”

 The pianist

Paul Hanmer

Article and photos: Estacios Valoi 

“What do you get when you cross legendary pianists like Duke Ellington, Ramsey Lewis, Bob James, Joe Sample and South Africa’s greatest players like Abdullah Ibrahim and young Moses Molelekwa? A bomb - precisely what this enigmatic character Paul Hanmer is.” 

I call him the pianist writing with sound

And there was Paul Harmer in his first time in Mozambique-Maputo, right there at the hall of the French Mozambican Cultural Center (CCFM) in “The Piano & Wine festival”.

With Pianist, we had a short-long conversation, from “ The essential Paul Hanmer”, a compilation of different albums or lets say our  conversation was some kind of compilation of the different  Pauls  VS Hanmer inside him.

Paul Hanmer born in 1961,  composer, pianist and one of its foremost Jazz musicians. He moved to Johannesburg where he formed Unofficial Language with drummer Ian Herman and bassist Pete Sklair. The group has released two albums, Moves Moves and Primal Steps. Influenced by Keith Jarrett, Hanmer has worked with artists including Grammy Award winner Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela, Jonathan Butler, Pops Mohamed, Sipho Gumede, and McCoy Mrubata. Hanmer has recorded for the South African recording label Sheer Sounds, and has played keyboards for the Sheer All Stars.

Hanmer has recorded with Tananas, Miriam Makeba, Ray Phiri, McCoy Mrubata and Pops Mohamed and formed part of Tony Cox's 'Cool Friction Band'. In 1999 he performed and recorded with Sheer All Stars, and produced Gloria Bosman's debut album, "Tranquility". Hanmer has also written a string quartet for the Sontonga Quartet and a Clarinet quintet for Robert Pickup (Zurich Opera). In addition he has composed a suite of duets for double bass and cello for Leon Bosch (Academy of St Martin's in the Fields).

Since 2003 Hanmer has also been composing works for classical performers: UnTsiki and Ntwazana (2003) for The Bow Project, a string quartet for the Sontonga Quartet, a wind quintet for the Mozart anniversary in 2006, a clarinet quintet for Robert Pickup, a suite of duets for double bass and cello for Leon Bosch, a piece for two tubas and drumkit for Anne Jelle Visser of the Zurich Opera, and two duets for violin and harp.

EV- I was still in the hall looking for Paul Hanmer , McCoy Mrubata’s brother froom another father and mother,.  “You know, better Ask McCoy.” And I said better we leave McCoy who was sitting and enjoying XL Langa, the Mozambican singer. Meanwhile I asked Paul how was he enjoying Maputo.

PH- Yes this is my first time in Maputo in my entire life, so is beautiful .  Also I can happen to see so many places ..continent going in terms of physically environment , the built  environment which is not been .. you see , everything seems to be deteriorating. Let me put in that way, is just sad. But what I find here ,people are very relaxed and very open with each other , this is what I get here , is a sense of community with so many diversity of people and is wonderful to see.  

I mean here was never such  thing as apartheid ,discrimination, all this things. But I think here in Maputo is some king of fire, is like real, there is much togetherness which I don’t.. Like I say, in cape town where I’m from or in Johannesburg where I live , you can full yourself sometimes that is quit integrated but there still very much division amongst people which runs very, very deep.

EV- So who is Paul the man or the musician behind Paul?
PH- Well. I still love what I started, which was listening to my parents LP’s and there were a selection of Joan Sebastian Bar and the Brandenburg concertos. I fall in love with a lot of Hopscott music from Beethoven , Bar , Schubert songs,  just for listen piano and Frank Sinatra with big band , Elephase Gerald , Louis Amstrong his beautiful album.

EV- And how for to bring Beethoven, people like Mozart into the Jazz context?

PH- It took me a long, long time. I started to find out when I was 18-20 years of age that people like Chicaria , Herbie Hancok, the musician that worked with Al jarreau in his albums, all those beautiful tenors around players and pianists,  where all classic trained but it was only when I was 28 when I heard Keith Jarrett for the first time. I had a record of Keith Jarrett playing with a trio-Jack de Juanete and Gary Peacock. For the first time it made me realize, this guys .. You cannot play a piano like that without a classic training, right.

But what he did, he brought that training to his tradition, which is the greater American song book of Jazz and made me realize that is what I have to do in my country, I have to turn my training towards the tradition of south Africa. And I spent most of my life trying to arrive in South Africa, because I was trained in European art music, then went to play top 40 ,so american and british pop songs, then I realized I have been playing and playing before that studying, and studying I learned piano and then I  come to hear bands like Bayete, Theta, Zakir when there were still together and I felt out of my dept . Im South African, I have lived here in Johannesburg  my all life, I feel like a foreigner , trying to enter to south Africa . All the times I’m trying to get into south Africa.

EV- Are you saying there is something to be discovered, fixed, feeling little bit lost, and what are you looking for?

PH- Sure. I’m looking. I do speak English, I don’t speak Zulu, I don’t speak Xhosa, I don’t speak any of the Nguni languages. Nothing!

EV- What was your last album?

PH- The last one was accused number 1( Nelson Mandela), it was based in a film around Rivonia trial  and as you know this year is the 50 anniversary  of that trial. So I used .. I was trying to make music sound like that, sounded like music that was written in 60’s when the trial happened but in south Africa was like I was taking myself back to a place I never been before, trying to imagine the atmosphere of the 1960’s, because I was born in 1961.
EV- How was for you to produce something from your imagination, not writing with ordinary words-alphabet, not writing with light- photography but describing the scenarios, moments using sounds, playing your mind and piano  about a place you never been before ?

PH-Exactly. It was great and I enjoyed it because what I had was a picture of those albums from my father, such as Milles Davis and Wayne Shorter , Herbie Hancok , Steins Gate with Astrud Gilberto and those people .And listening to them , just imagine the music, the way it sound , the atmosphere, like the photographs , the images , the way people dress, the way they walk , so I had all that .

EV- And I guess you were also able to bring people’s cloths into your piano?

PH- Somehow yes because  everyone was smoking , they were looking very elegant , woman and man.Image was very important. Then you see the Rivonia trial , the footage from the time ,news real and you see Winnie Mandela , she is beautiful, very, very,  beautiful woman and Nelson Mandela with this big side part, like avenue Samora Machel, a big one across his head, looking sharp, phantastic and you realize how beautiful this people are .I was brought  up to believe that no one that I can see around ,common people .. I don’t know. I never realized how beautifull people are . 

EV- Today Cape Town International Jazz Festival is a mixer of  pop..etc. No more the real Jazz fest like before.How do you see the South Africa music industry today? 

PH- I think when people improvise.., too me that is new injection of life happening to the music. You have people saying this is not jazz, but is jazz . I don’t know how they make this distintion!  Maybe is because I don’t feel like I’m a jazz player, because I love jazz and I love people who can play jazz and I always try to work together with jazz players and I know what that is because it seems to me that jazz could be Beethoven, Mozart, would have been Bar . We know they were great musicians , we know they could improvise better than anybody else, we know there were famous for this things , and writing their own music and embody the best of the age  they lived, that why they were great .

EV- What most scares you in this world ?

PH- I admit to you. I’m sacred of death. You know, we are supposed to face death with courage but I’m very scared of it, scared of harm coming to my family because there is more crime ,desperation in south Africa, people more expensive to live. It come across to everybody.You speak to a wealth man , engineer ,tax driver ,musician ,banker , they all suffering , teachers , municipal workers and there is a lot of corruption, poverty and are people who are more disparate than me and they need to eat, and they steal, robe  , they were kill to eat and that is the reality.

Is about Jazz

Second time around with McCoy Mrubata

Text and photos by : Estacios Valoi

Was his second time visiting Mozambique and was also our second meeting after International Cape Town Jazz Festival. But this time we were in the hall of the French Mozambican Cultural Center (CCFM) in Maputo. Just I and McCoy Mrubata the Saxophonist the, flute player, band leader and composer whose first time in Mozambique was in 1989 when he came with the former south African singer Brenda Fassie.

I remember years ago McCoy saying he would like to be part of the once called Mozambican Jazz Festival. Anyway. This was a kind different festival previous announced, music, gastronomy and oenology. But we call it as the organizers do, “The Piano & Wine festival” in its second’s edition one year later. Of course was a different combination in this annual venue organized by the Mozambican French Cultural Center-French Embassy.
What else could we say about wine, food, Jazz, a sound from a trumpet, Piano! A long walking between South Africa, France and Mozambique showing their wines and talents-McCoy Mrubata and Paul Harnmer  at the hall of(CCFM) space to listen to classical or Jazz Pianist, taste and or buy fine wines, understand the subtle mix of dishes and wines and learn about wine regions in particular. And there was also XL Langa singing.

But my journey was with McCoy. I read somewhere that he was in Maputo to perform and I was attending one of ACNIR-IREX Investigative Courses. Intensive and I got into an intensive bottle of whiskey and there I was in the hall of the center. Next day, hangover while in the room of IREX. But the hangover tested well though. I met him.

Born in 1959 in Cape Town’s historic Langa Township, South Africa, McCoy Mrubata grew up with the sounds of African music: the soulful hymns of the Zion Church, the chants and rhythms of traditional healers and the brassy jive of the Merry Macs band who rehearsed opposite his home. McCoy just believed in simplicity and humility. McCoy also produces, teaches and spends a lot of time, as he puts it, simply being a family man. “I don’t really write songs, songs come to me because everyday I wake up with a melody and I simply work on it when I’m awake. When schooling became impossible in the fiery aftermath of the 1976 uprising, the young McCoy then playing flute studied informally under Langa greats like Madoda Gxabeka, Winston Ngozi , the Ngcukanas, Ezra and Duke, Blackie Tempi and Robert Sithole. But basically in 1976 when I first picked up a pennywhistle.”

McCoy Or just Mrubata was also engaged in other waves. In 1989 he formed Brotherhood, which also included guitarist Jimmy Dludlu pianist Nhlanhla Magagula and Lucas Khumalo. In 1990 the band won the Gilbey's Music for Africa prize. In 1992 he began touring with Hugh Masekela’s Lerapo, alongside guitarist Lawrence Matshiza and pianist, the late Moses Molelekwa among others. He also created his own bands, Cape to Cairo and McCoy and Friends. In the mid-1990s, he made the first of a series of albums as leader for the independent Sheer Sound label: Tears of Joy. The personnel of Friends, including pianist Paul Hanmer, bassist Andre Abrahamse and trombonist Jabu Magubane among others have formed a consistent team of collaborators for McCoy. Since those days, more albums have followed: Phosa Ngasemva, Hoelykit, Face the Music which won the 2003 South African Music Award in the Traditional Jazz category and Icamagu Livumile which won the same award in 2005, as well as the compilation CD - Best of the Early Years. The young McCoy then playing flute studied informally under Langa greats like Madoda Gxabeka, Winston Ngozi, the Ngcukanas, Ezra and Duke, Blackie Tempi and Robert Sithole.

McCoy's other projects Include Kulturation with pianist Wessel van Rensburg, exploring new interpretations of tunes from the African and Afrikaans communities.  Xhosa and Zulu cultures with Afrikaans folk music tunes fusing these into contemporary versions of local South Africa music. Vivid Africa is collaboration with multi-instrumentalist Greg Georgiadis, using instruments like Oudh and bouzouki alongside saxophones to explore the musical spices of the East African coast. McCoy was also a member of a super band Sheer All Stars which consisted of some of the best musicians In SA Jazz: the late Sipho Gumede, Errol Dyers, Paul Hanmer, Frank Pako, Wessel van Rensburg and Louis Mhlanga. But McCoy is now working with Cococomusic Records.

EV- Five years later after our first meeting  during Cape Town International Jazz Festival and as I know you have been doing a lot also promoting your music , the African music essence. Not only in terms of Jazz sound, African rhythms. So what is new?
MM- Nothing new, except that new ideas, same concept where we fuse our traditional, folk music with a little bit of footage of jazz, you know.. Jazz sophistication but actually we call it African jazz.  So new is just the fresh ideas same concept.

EV-By maintaining the same concept what are you trying to achieve?
MM- I’m trying to achieve what the Cuban and the Brazilians have achieved with salsa music, Brazilian jazz, and their exported all over the world .Now we African, Manu Dibango is one of our kings, Hugo Masekela, Abdullah Ibrahim. We are also trying to do the same, explore and mix.. Jimmy Dludlu and all the young guys like us we trying to do it, to support even more, make it better if you like.

EV- You and Paul finished performing. What your gave the audience at the hall of CCFM?
MM-   I have been working with Paul since 1988 so we understand one another and we gave them a test of Paul Hanmer and McCoy. What we are performing is basically music that Paul wrote and I also wrote. Some songs we wrote together and it was very intimate in terms of sound, just piano and saxophone but rich in test. Bit time.

EV- Could you tell us about one of the songs you wrote or performed together and the story behind it?
MM- In 2005, I lost my first born child, my daughter, she was murdered at the age of 24, and she just turned to it. The first song is very emotional. Is called “the white sense of the flat”, written by Paul Hanmer? He wrote it in dedication, commemorating my daughter’s dead, in fact he wrote that year, it  was a very dark period in my life and by doing that, I suppose he was trying to console me ,to keep sane you know. And the last is called “Indombene” a Xhosa word; Indombene is where the traditional healers bit the drum. Basically when they celebrating and curing people.  The concept is that music also does cure people, makes you forget, like Paul wrote that other song just makes us ..Keep us sane.

EV- I look to your face, this big smile. What where your celebrating tonight (that night)?
MM- We are invited here for this Piano and wine music festival. So, I suppose were helping them to celebrate this and people are happy, they are buying our CD’s and I also got a new CD out, is called Brasskap Sessions Vol.2. We played songs of the new CD celebrating the ‘Be”.

EV-How was for you to produce this CD and who is featuring with you?
MM- In this CD, features are 13 musicians, Paul also there and the great organ player Moses Nguenya  and I have got about eight or nine young guys who are fresh from the colleges. You no, I like to mix my music, the mix  chance as well, the old, the young, just for us to interact and throw in each other energy because the young guys might not be experienced, but they got a positive energy , is got a lot of guys in it and is a nice CD.
EV- Positive energy and the young are not really yet in music industry, in the market struggling with producers, promotors this entire people. Isn’t it?
MM-- We older guys have to be careful with young starts, we need to guide them because there are many obstacles in life, in challenging music too. So we are here to guide the young ones and channel they energy positively and help them. They mustn’t say, eiishh, this and that you know. Promotors will always be promotors we just need to work hand in hand with one another. Like me I don’t perform any more in lot of Big Jazz venues , I’m not bit about it, not scarred to charge , I charge a lot of money , I don’t want to compromise because I have been around , I know my story so I don’t bag anybody you know . I know what I’m wealth. So when a call comes I do it, if not, it’s fine. But people will always miss me you know. That why I’m a soldier, always packed.

EV- So who is the man behind the musician?
MM- In my case is a woman behind the musician. My beautiful wife who takes care of my children , I help her, I always say I’m a family man before I’ m a musician,  kind of guy who loves family. I’m a simple guy, I drive my kids, take them to school, I held  the dishes , take care of the garden and then I practice  in the studio and then back home. I’m a home person.

EV-How do you see the South Africa music industry, market today?
MM- As far is Jazz’s concern. Once stage Jazz was fading away because promotors, Jazz market was infiltrated by other kind of music and for instance they could call it Jazz festival and there is only one or two Jazz artists and the rest is just Afro-pop, this and that ! But it is slowly coming around, also with help of this new opened club called “Obity”. Is beautiful and is also helping to revive the real Jazz. And what I like about it is because they give a platform, not only for us but also for the youngster, even to people who are older than me. Is across the border, pure, good music .You know. Jazz.
EV- That day, November last year, I asked McCoy about times to come, concerts, and I got caught not with somebody’s wife but with my tape recorder!!
MM- My show will be after tomorrow, Sunday. You will be surprised where it will be! Is in my house! I got Jazz concert with a bass player called Lex Fundjane, is called Ingungutela, is a Xhosa word, it mean “the summit” and we fuse our bands. He has got his band and I have got my band. We took few members from each band. I have got a big yard at the tennis court will have a stage and big tent. I’ll keep playing the music, this is what I do and I hope to bring back a CD recorded in 2001 in Norway. By the way. I have got a new label called Cococomusic because I was with Chia Santos for more than ten years and my last CD came out through my new label company Cococomusic/Cococorecords and my second CD is coming this here?