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’Sometime Before’ for Durban pianist

Pianist Burton Naidoo will present new music next week.

Pianist Burton Naidoo will present new music next week.

Published Jan 22, 2022


Durban - Burton Naidoo is a pianist, composer, arranger and educator, and will release new work reflecting on life before Covid-19.

The composition of his music on the new release reflects a life Sometime Before the Covid-19 pandemic, as most people long for normality.

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“We miss simple gestures like hugs, handshakes and meetings without masking.

“The music is groovy, edgy, celebratory and nostalgic,” said Naidoo.

At six years old, Naidoo started piano lessons with legendary pianist Simon Kerdachi at the Simon Kerdachi Academy of Music.

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He said his love for music was inspired by his parents.

“My parents were pretty hip. I cannot remember this myself, but my mother told me I could pick up simple melodies off the radio and play them on the piano all on my own.

“They sent me for piano lessons with Simon Kerdachi. I recall watching him playing: it was incredible and it was then that I truly fell in love with the piano.

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“My dad was a huge inspiration for me, he was always playing music on vinyl at home, from Paul Simon to Count Basie.

“I didn’t know it at the time, but that was probably my biggest education in music, he was really involved in my development as an artist,” said Naidoo.

Naidoo took a keen interest in jazz and in 2001 enrolled on UKZN’s jazz programme where he four years under the wings of legendary jazz keyboardist and educator, Darius Brubeck.

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Naidoo was awarded a scholarship to study at the University of Artisten, Gothenburg, in Sweden and in 2005 he won the Samro piano competition, winning funding for further international study.

He described his music as universal and philosophical

“I try my best to not make the music complex just because I can do that.

“I treat every composition with utmost respect and integrity needed to convey a specific message or to ask probing questions.

“Some of my music is rather simple because it needs to be. I’m more interested in the message and connecting with the listener on deeper levels,” said Naidoo.

He said the formation of his music is inspired by life in general.

“The ups and downs, peaks and valleys. Music is the end result of a process, I like to stay in tune with all the processes which end up informing all my compositions.

“I’m also really blessed to have a wonderful family ‒ my wife and two daughters are enough inspiration to keep the creative juices flowing,” said Naidoo.

Naidoo has and continues to perform with some of South Africa’s finest musicians across all genres.

The concert is organised in collaboration with UKZN’s Centre for Creative Arts and centre for Jazz and popular music, and will take place at Alliance Francaise in Durban on Thursday, January 27.

Doors open at 6pm and tickets are available on Webtickets for R60.

The Independent on Saturday

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