Another perfect Cape Town day for a lazy Sunday afternoon picnic and music at Kirstenbosch. With the mountain serving as a beautiful backdrop to the sound that was yet to fill the space, the growing anticipation of a performance from a South African icon fluttered through the leaves surrounding the concert lawn.
Enter Jimmy Dludlu in his signature hat and his spanking new red guitar, which he said he had bought “to play for you, Cape Town”. Cue delighted cheers.
Dludlu thrilled fans with a mix of old time favourites including ‘Point of View’ and ‘Mdantsane’. He paid tribute to Miriam Makeba by playing funky renditions of ‘Pata Pata’ and ‘Meadowlands’. He even sampled Michael Jackson’s ‘Don’t Stop till you Get Enough’ and delighted the audience with a moonwalk.
With a star-studded band including Standard Bank Young Artist winner Bokani Dyer on piano, John Hassan on drums, Lwanda Gogwana (trumpet) and Sisonke Xhonti (sax), Dludlu took the opportunity to highlight the talents of each by featuring them in a number of new tracks. Dludlu occasionally pitched in with some vocals but the main focus was his guitar, and his hypnotic riffs had everyone bopping.
There was a distinct feeling that Dludlu was trying to fit a lot of music within a short space of time. It felt like he was rushing through some of the songs, but despite a tempo that was often too fast, the performance was worth it and he had the audience dancing along, singing and some even joined him on stage.
I had been looking forward to this performance as I hadn’t seen Dludlu perform in quite some time. To say the least, I was not disappointed. The new infusion in his sound – a mix of Mozambican/salsa sounds and beats – has added a new and welcome dynamic to his music.
Jimmy Dludlu performed at the Kirstenbosch Old Mutual Summer Concert Series on 20 January 2013.