African music through a Western instrument

Bloemfontein pianist, Andile Qongqo

Music lovers are in for a treat at the Free State Arts Festival where jazz pianist, Andile Qongqo, will play his latest album, Q Signature, at Odeion Theatre. The solo piano show will be a blend of ballads, Afro-jazz, latin and classical music among others that promises to enthral the live music enthusiasts and album listeners alike.

Qongqo is an Afro-jazz pianist, composer, recording artist and music educator from Bloemfontein who has been a music instructor at Free State Musicon since 2004. He described the show as a special musical experience. “It will be a mix of everything. The nice thing about the show is that it will be the first time that a lot of people will get to hear the piano playing so many complex and non-genre specific musical pieces. So they can just expect to be surprised because there will be a lot of improvised tunes,” said Qongqo.

Q Signature is a compilation of fourteen songs from the artist whose musical career spans over twenty years. After playing in bands for a number of years this is Qongqo’s first solo offering. “I decided to make a solo albums so that people could hear the piano on its own. This is a way for me to tell my story, which is centralised around Africa. Many of the songs are an interpretation of African songs through a Western instrument,” he said.

“I hope that people come in their numbers, dressed warmly to hear and enjoy what Bloemfontein has to offer musically,” said Qongqo. He highlighted that the show would be one to remember as it would be a live performance with improvisations that cannot be experienced on the album.

The Free State Arts Festival takes place at the University of the Free State from 1 – 7 July 2019. Tickets to Q Signature (Piano Solo) can be bought at Computicket for R100 to enjoy a performance on Monday 1 July or Tuesday 2 July 2019.

Nomaqhawe Mtebele