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Abdullah Ibrahim

1934 -

Origin: South Africa

Main instrument: Piano

Genre: Jazz

With a rich musical legacy that stretches over half a century, renowned South African pianist Abdullah Ibrahim has forged his reputation with a deep sensibility for musical fusion and exploration. Born in Cape Town in 1934 in the context of apartheid and social tension, Adolphe Johannes Brand drew his earliest musical influences from a cultural melting pot where traditional African song, gospel and Negro spirituals met American jazz and classical music. He set off on a professional career at 15, adopting the stage name Dollar Brand in 1958, making his breakthrough the following year playing with septet the Jazz Epistles, one of the leading groups in South African jazz. Colliding with the South African political context, he left for Europe in 1962. A meeting with Duke Ellington in Paris opened the doors to an international career. After recording Duke Ellington presents the Dollar Brand Trio, he left for New York, attending the Julliard School of Music, performing at the Newport Jazz Festival and in Carnegie Hall, meeting John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman and playing piano during an American tour by the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Renaming himself Abdullah Ibrahim in 1968, he recorded the renowned Mannenberg – Is Where It’s Happening in 1974, forged ahead with a number of projects and founded the septet Ekaya in 1983. It took Nelson Mandela’s ascension to power for the artist to renew his ties to Africa: he subsequently released Mantra Modes (1991) and Knysna Blue (1993), and delivered a memorable performance at Mandela’s inauguration in 1994. Over the decades, his deeply personal fusion of modern jazz, blues, African rhythms and the virtuoso technique of classical music has won him a massive international reputation studded with world tours, countless collaborations, concerts in every possible format from solo to major ensembles and symphony orchestras, and a slate of recordings including African Suite (1999) Cape Town Revisited (2000), Ekapa Lodumo (2001), African Magic (2003), Senzo (2008), and Bombella (2009).

1984 Abdulah Ibrahim (Dollar Brand) & Ekaya Sunday, July 1, 1984 at 11:59 p.m.
Théâtre St-Denis
1993 Abdullah Ibrahim Solo Thursday, July 1, 1993 at 8 p.m.
Salle du Gesù
1999 Abdullah Ibrahim's African Suite with I Musici de Montréal Friday, July 9, 1999 at 6 p.m.
Théâtre Maisonneuve
2003 Abdullah Ibrahim trio "African Magic" Friday, July 4, 2003 at 9:30 p.m.
Spectrum de Montréal
2015 Abdullah Ibrahim solo Thursday, July 2, 2015 at 6 p.m.
Gesù — Centre de créativité
Abdullah Ibrahim Mukashi trio Friday, July 3, 2015 at 6 p.m.
Gesù — Centre de créativité
Abdullah Ibrahim et Ekaya Saturday, July 4, 2015 at 6 p.m.
Gesù — Centre de créativité

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