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Durban music picks: February 24 2012

Alex Sudheim

Guitar impressarios Nibs van der Spuy and Guy Buttery this week round off the sold-out KwaZulu-Natal tour in support of their collaborative album.

In his 27-year career, singer, songwriter, novelist and poet Robin Auld has contained his restless spirit in 11 albums, a novel, a collection of poetry and a peregrination from Zambia to South Africa and then to the United Kingdom and back.

Most famous for his landmark 1993 album, Zen Surfing in the 3rd World, Auld has honed his signature musical sensibility, a “roots pop” that blends the guitar virtuosity of Carlos Santana, the rock panache of Jimi Hendrix and the raw country of Neil Young with the uniquely South African idiom of maskanda and mbaqanga. In support of his most recent release, Fingers in My Pocket, Auld performs three concerts in Durban and the South Coast this weekend. He is joined by fiddler extraordinaire Ant Cawthorn-Blazeby.

St Clements, Musgrave Road, Friday, February 24, 7.30pm; Bluestockings, Kloof, Saturday, February 25, 7.30pm; Rock Bottom Pub, Umzumbe, Sunday, February 26, 2pm. Tickets for both Durban shows cost R80 with booking essential. For information about St Clements call 031 202 2511 and Bluestockings on 083 659 3628. At Rock Bottom the cover charge is a donation. Tel: 078 444 7130.

■ Guitar impressarios Nibs van der Spuy and Guy Buttery this week round off the sold-out KwaZulu-Natal tour in support of their collaborative album In the Shade of the Wild Fig with one of their legendary performances of compositions and improvisations. Renowned for the astonishing range of the sonic tapestry they weave, the duo push the boundaries both in terms of tight, technical prowess and swirling, surreal miasmas of experimental sound. In their individual capacity, each has released an impressive collection of award-winning albums and is constantly on tour internationally. All the tracks from Wild Fig were laid down over a three-day period in November last year at Peace of Eden Studios in Knysna. Audiences can get a taste of it as well the usual dose of deliriously unpredictable psych-folk.

The Schlesinger Theatre, Michaelhouse, Balgowan, KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, Friday, February 24, 7.30pm. Tickets cost R80 and R60 for scholars. Booking is essential. Tel: 033 234 1314. Email: [email protected]

■ Enjoy an open-air, evening garden concert in the amphitheatre of Steinway pianist Christopher Duigan’s home ­studio this weekend. Stanislav Angelov (accordion) and Duigan (piano) perform a sparkling variety of tango, jazz and original music plus popular Eurocafé numbers. Bring your own chairs, blankets, dinner baskets, wine and friends and enjoy the music under the stars.

35 Montgomery Avenue, ­Pietermaritzburg, Friday, ­February 24, 7pm. Booking essential. Email [email protected] Tel: 033 342 3051.

■ Classical music and fine art are an inspired pairing in A Walk in an ­African Landscape with the Music of JS Bach. The Tatham Art ­Gallery’s director conducts an insightful tour of the new South African landscapes exhibition in the Lorna Ferguson room of the gallery, after which a concert pianist performs a selection of work by Bach, who himself completed a remarkable walk in a European landscape when he traipsed 400km from Arnstadt to Lübeck to hear the legendary Dieterich Buxtehude play the organ.

Tatham Art Gallery, Pietermaritzburg, Sunday, ­February 26. Entrance to the 10.30am walkabout is free; entrance to the 11.30am recital costs R50. Booking is essential. Email: [email protected] Tel: 033 342 3051.

■ The KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra is in full swing with the summer season of its World Symphony Series, which this week ­features a concert titled: Pianistic Poetry. Acclaimed pianist Alexander Lubyantsev joins the orchestra for the performance of Chopin’s great Piano Concerto No 1 in E minor, Op 11. Also on the programme is Schumann’s Symphony No 2 in C major, Op 61 with visiting maestro Yasuo Shinozaki conducting.

Durban City Hall, March 1, 7.30pm. Tickets range from R42 to R189. Booking through Computicket. Visit kznpo.co.za.

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