Profile: David Kramer

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david kramerThis South African singer, songwriter, playwright and director is most popular for his musicals about the Cape Coloured communities, and the early apartheid regime. As a child Kramer had lessons with the classical composer Cromwell Everson. He played in the South African band called The Creeps in the 1960s and then travelled to England in 1971 to study textile design at Leeds University.

He began his musical career in the mid 1970s and pioneered the use of Cape Afrikaans and South African English in his lyrics, often using both languages in the same song. His first album titles BAKGAT! issued by Mountain Records was released in 1980, and was immediately banned, because it was considered too political and vulgar for the South African citizens.

David Kramer also worked with the late Taliep Petersen, meeting in the late 70s at a folk concert staged by Des and Dawn Lindberg at the Unversity of Cape Town. He collaborated with Petersen on the highly respected stage music District Six, a politically influenced musical telling the story of the forced removals during the apartheid era. It was produced by the Baxter Theatre and his wife, Renaye Kramer.

It is also with Petersen that he created the popular Fairyland and Kat & the Kings, both of which had successful runs on Broadway and London’s West End. His most recent musical is Orpheus in Africa with well-known jubilee spirituals, Swing Low Sweet Chariot & The Gospel Train.

Kramer is often seen frequenting the theatres of Cape Town, wearing his trademark pork pie hat.

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