Botswana born and South African based pianist and composer, Bokani Dyer, is set to perform at Maitisong on Valentine’s eve. It will be a nostalgic return to Maru a Pula school where the 28 year old’s musical education began. It was also there where he made his first public performance.
Dyer will be accompanied by the duo of Shane Cooper (bass) and Marlon Witbooi (drums).
Cooper won a SAMA for best Jazz Album in 2014. He was also Standard Bank young artist of the year for Jazz in 2013.
Gaborone is their first stop on a 10 day SADC tour that will also see the trio perform in Harare and Johannesburg.
Now based in Cape Town, Dyer has established himself as a prominent voice in the new wave of young musicians in South Africa. He has released two albums Mirrors (2010) and Emancipate the Story (2011) and is in production of a new album to be released later this year. He was awarded the prestigious Standard Bank Young Artist Award in 2011 and took top prize in the highly competitive SAMRO piano competition in 2013.
Dyer also toured Europe with his quintet in May 2014 visiting Switzerland, Germany, Czech Republic and the UK. As a result of the tour, he was invited to perform at one of the world’s most recognised jazz festivals, The London Jazz Festival.
“The performance at Maitisong on the 13th of February is a historic event as it is Bokani Dyer’s first performance under his leadership in Botswana and in the theatre where he gave his first public piano performance,” says a statement from the artist. Although his music could be described as Jazz, Dyer once told South Africa’s Mail and Guardian that he doesn’t consider himself a Jazz musician. He told the paper he just wants to be known as someone who makes music.
“We are at a time right now where we are influenced by so many types of music. When you listen to a jazz album nowadays it hardly sounds like traditional Jazz. The genre is always changing,” Dyer told the SA newspaper.The local opening act at the show will be a four piece Jazz ensemble called Soul Connect made up of Laone Thekiso on Piano, Kabelo Tumake on Bass, Khaya Groth on Drums and Gomotsegang Rapoo on Lead Guitar.
Dyer was born in Gaborone in 1986 while his father, renowned artist Steve Dyer was living here in exile. He went on to study music, performance and composition at the University of Cape Town where he graduated with distinction in 2008. He went on to win the Standard Bank young Jazz Artist of the year in 2011 and has recorded 2 albums.