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SA Jazz Musician Tony Cedras ‘exits’ at 72

South Africans are mourning the death of local jazz musician Tony Cedras who succumbed to chronic emphysema on 30 January.

News about Cedras’ death was confirmed by his wife, Tania, who told the local press that the harmonium player “was performing in the US and was hospitalised for six months until he came back on Thursday before passing away on Monday.”

Music industry players took to social media to convey their condolences following news of his passing.

“Heartbroken, rest easy Tony Cedras,” jazz singer Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse wrote. “A giant of a man with talent beyond belief. Thank you for your brilliance my friend. Our prayers go out to Tony’s family and friends.”

South Africa’s Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, Zizi Kodwa, wrote:

“My thoughts are with the family, friends and comrades of Mr Tony Cedras. A legendary multi-instrumentalist, a veteran of the liberation struggle against apartheid, and a promoter of Khoisan heritage, Mr Cedras fought for our freedom and has done so much to enrich our heritage.”

Sound engineer and director at Sound Proprietors Tshiamo Mosenyi wrote:

“Sad about the passing of Ntate Tony Cedras. We were privileged to witness an incredible show by Sipho at the Soweto Theatre. We had a small backstage conversation for about an hour before the event and it left such an uplifting feeling in my soul.”

A native of Cape Town, Cedras was born in Elsie’s River. When he was a child, he became fascinated by carnival bands, as well as the sonorous sounds of various keyboard instruments (such as the harmonium, which he later mastered) in church.

During his teen years, Cedras played guitar, keyboards and the trumpet in Cape Town, a city rich in music and musicians. With the encouragement of bassist Paul Abrahams, he began working with jazz-rock innovators Pacific Express.

It was during this experience that he met established national music heroes such as Stompie Manana, as well as young players who would shape the Cape jazz scene and sound, including Robbie Jansen, Basil ‘Manenberg’ Coetzee, Jonathan Butler, Alvin Dyers, and others.

Cedras, along with bassist Pete Sklair, were part of the second generation of members of Estudio, which was formed in 1980 by Jansen, Ibrahim Khalil Shihab and Kader Khan. In the mid-1980s, Cedras lived in Botswana and was part of the Medu Arts Ensemble, which brought together Batswanas and exiled South Africans. With his command of the trumpet, he sometimes stunned those who still thought of him as a pianist.

Despite returning to Cape Town in 2013, he continued touring internationally and reconnected with South African allies such as Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse.

His first solo album, Vision Over People, was released in 1994, followed by Love Letter To Cape Town in 2015 and River Conversations with Maciek Schejbal in 2020.

The post SA Jazz Musician Tony Cedras ‘exits’ at 72 appeared first on tooXclusive.




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