Abdullah Ibrahim’s profile picture

Abdullah Ibrahim

Pianist, Composer
Abdullah Ibrahim’s profile picture
Net worth 2018: $1.3 Million
Industry: Pianists
Residence: Cape Town
Country: South African
BirthDay: 9 October 1934
Sigh: Scorpio
Education: NA

Abdullah Ibrahim was bornon 9 October 1934 in Cape Town, South African, is Pianist, Composer. Born Adolph Johannes Brand, the famous South African pianist and composer, Abdullah Ibrahim became popular as Dollar Brand. He began his professional career in the mid-50s and formed a band Jazz Epistles. During a long visit to Europe, he caught the attention of Duke Ellington. This was a turning point in his career and led to numerous appearances in the USA. He began to live in New York City, and played with leading exponents. He continued to be involved in politics, converted to Islam, and adopted the name Abdullah Ibrahim. The banning of the African National Congress made it difficult for Ibrahim to return permanently to his homeland, but he went there occasionally for recording sessions. His composition ‘Mannenberg’ became the anthem for the fight against apartheid in South Africa. Nelson Mandela admired Abdullah Ibrahim’s music and called him “South Africa’s Mozart”. He explored African music and merged it with contemporary American jazz. His composition for the opera, ‘Kalahari Liberation’, won great acclaim. His band Ekaya has recorded and performed in several concerts and festivals. He has also composed music for two French films. His music is mirrored in the album, ‘African Suite’, reflecting his African origins, Islamic faith, European residence, and his jazz passion.


In the 2002 documentary film, ‘Amandla! A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony’, he was one of the many South African musicians who spoke of their struggles against apartheid and their part in that struggle


From 2000 to 2009, he released albums including ‘Cape Town Revisited’ ‘Ekapa Lodumo’, ‘African Magic’, ‘Senzo’, and ‘Bombella’


His 1999 album, ‘African Suite’ backed by the Youth Orchestra arranged by Daniel Schnyder was a reworking of Ibrahim’s compositions, and reflective of his South African origin, Islamic faith, European residence, and jazz passion


He ended the 25 November, 1989 episode of ‘After Dark’, a British late night live discussion program` broadcast on Channel 4 television, with a long piano jazz improvisation


He wrote the soundtracks for two Claire Denis directed French films – ‘Chocolat’ (a 1988 film about a French family living in colonial Cameroon) and ‘No Fear, No Die’, released two years later


In 1987, he performed a memorial concert for Marcus Garvey held in Westminster Cathedral, London


He formed a septet with altos Carlos Ward, tenor-saxophonist Ricky Ford, baritonist Charles Davis, trombonist Dick Griffin, bassist Cecil McBee, and drummer Ben Riley that featured in the 1983 musical, ‘Cape Town, South Africa’


He and his wife Sathima set up the record company Ekapa in 1981 to produce their own music


Ibrahim composed the 1974 album, ‘Mannenberg - "Is Where It's Happening"’ consisting of two long cuts "Mannenberg" and "The Pilgrim" became a great hit


In 1968, he returned to Cape Town, and converted to Islam


In 1967, a Rockefeller Foundation grant enabled him to enroll at the Juilliard School of Music


He performed at the Newport Jazz Festival and Carnegie Hall, and in 1966, substituted as the leader of the Ellington Orchestra in five concerts


Between 1965 and 1968, he released four albums including, ‘Anatomy of a South African Village’,’ This is Dollar Brand’, ‘The Dream’, and ‘Hamba Khale’ with Gato Barbieri


In 1963, Sathima Benjamin persuaded the legendary Duke Ellington to listen to them play at Club Africana


In 1962, with apartheid at its peak, Dollar Brand Trio members, along with vocalist Sathima Bea Benjamin, left South Africa, and accepted a three-year contract at the Club Africana in Zurich


In 1959, he formed the band, Jazz Epistles, with saxophonist Kippie Moeketsi, trumpeter Hugh Masekela, trombonist Jonas Gwanga, bassist Johnny Gertze and drummer Makaya Ntshoko), and recorded their first album, 'Jazz Epistle, Verse 1'


In 1958, he formed the Dollar Brand Trio which included Johnny Gertze and Makaya Ntshok

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