Classical guitarist James Grace is a South African icon. I caught him recently at the Centre for the Book where he was performing works from his new album World Cafe as well as the SAMA-nominated albums Cafe Latino and Sevilla – Music of Spain II.
For me, his performance perfectly exemplified not just the versatility of the acoustic guitar but the depth of emotion that can be reached when passion is coupled with true mastery. Highlights of the performance included Grace’s take on ragtime with a piece by Andrew York, a magnetic Paraguayan piece, and the cadenzas that literally had me holding my breath.
Perhaps it was the breath-holding, or perhaps it was the copious amount of wine on offer from the friendly staff, but the delightfully soft-spoken, unassuming Grace commanded the impressive reading hall with ease and his relaxed treatment of the guitar wove romance into the air of that gracious historical building. I left floating on air.
Click here to view James Grace’s profile page.