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Dyers, Errol (South Africa)  
Errol Dyers

"This album is more representative of me than ever before, this is a representation of who I am and how I speak to people" says jazz guitarist Errol Dyers about his sophomore album Kou Kou Wa.

"More than anything, it is Cape Town that has influenced my sound".Unlike many of his contemporaries Errol has not had the good fortune of studying music, but instead learnt his music on the street drawing inspiration from the natural rhythms of both Cape Town and the people of the mother city, allowing people to interpret themselves through the music.

His style can be described as Cape Jazz, and some of the songs on his debut album, 'Sonesta', incorporated songs that are almost a hundred years old and stem from the earliest strummings of the Cape people that have been passed down through the generations.

Since his childhood days Errol has looked up to the local Cape Town musicians like The Kwella Kids and of course Abdullah Ibrahim - with whom Errol had the privilege of playing in 1990 when he toured the UK along with Robbie Jansen and the late Basil Coetzee. The highlight of the tour being a live broadcast on the BBC.
Genre: klopse / goema, jazz

Cape Town music. Today there's this catch phrase, 'the Goema sound', it's like a cross between the traditional langarm and the Cape Town carnival sound; it's a mix of that, a perfect blend. I can rightly say I'm a pioneer of putting the Goema sound together. It all happened during the struggle, with Basil, Robbie and myself; I like all sorts of music, but I always loved who I am and that's our power, the Goema sound."

Among the "Cape Townish jazz songs" you can expect on Kou Kou Wa are three of the songs he used to play with Basil Coetzee. There's a track called Majitas - "a Jo'burg term with a Cape Town thing". There's Latin Night "that has a Latin twist, it's a hybrid Gouma - Another of the more Goumaish songs is Sambaya. We couldn't agree on whether to call the song a Samba or a Gouma so we said 'Ja it's a Samba ja.' Sambaya." And his family connections still feature actively on the album; his sax playing uncle features on one song. Another of the songs, Lily Tripping, takes Dyers even further back - to his ancestral roots. "I'm a musician and we hate getting up before ten in the morning, but one day for some reason I woke up at six and I got on my bike and then I walked to the Liesbeck river, the old traditional hunting ground of The Khoisan. As I was walking down the path this tune came to me. And while walking I saw these beautiful, big, fleshy lilies and it was summer, so that was unusual - so that
Errol Dyers © Steve Gordon 2004
was where I got the song and the name of the song, sitting there and honouring my ancestors."

His communal roots are evident in the album's title. A "kou kou wa", is a mobile shop selling food and sweets that was given its nickname back in the day when the Cape townships were still being built. If you hear the kou kou wa you can be sure you're not going to go hungry that day.

His diverse music influences are particularly evident on a new track called Tatiyane. "It's a Gospel-inspired African song." Tatiyane means 'take away' in Xhosa, as in "take away the pain and bring on the love - The church has a lot to do with who I am." And aside from music, Dyers's creativity extends to writing plays and poems.

Despite all these different influences, the new album is inspired by Cape Town's special sound and people. He thinks the place has a vibe that isn't found anywhere else in the world. If you don't get what that means then Errol Dyers suggests that you "listen to the album and you'll see".

This Biography courtesy of SHEER SOUND
  Recordings : Dyers, Errol

Cape Jazz 3

Robbie Jansen
Basil Coetzee 
The Tony Schilder Trio
Dollar Brand
Chris McGregor
The Hilton Schilder Group
The Goema Captains
Errol Dyers
Coenie de Villiers feat. Basil Coetzee
Best Of Errol Dyers and Friends

Best Of Errol Dyers and Friends

click here for more about these and other recordings by : Dyers, Errol

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