national Arts Festival Banner

Saturday, February 1, 2014


(Sam Abrahams)

Legendary Durban saxophonist Sam Abrahams has passed away at the age of 81.

Friend and colleague Yogin Devan remembers him with respect. “He played the sax for six decades and recorded several CDs. His love for music started in the church. He took lessons from the late Willy Thomas and then founded the famous group, Sam’s Latin Kings which won several music contests. He inspired many talented musicians such as Dee Sharma of The Dukes.
"It is sad that yet another talented, prolific artist has gone to the big stage in the sky," Devan continues. "Sam Abrahams kept feet tapping for six decades at a time when it was not easy for people of colour to easily get to work the night club circuit. His pure sounds will linger forever. Play it again Sam up there.”

Nanda Soobben, cartoonist and director of the The Centre for Fine Art Animation & Design (CFAD) wrote the following tribute when Sam Abrahams was awarded the TooLittleTooLate Award, three years ago:

“When Sam Abrahams blew that sax on Saturday night I was choking … this 78 year old was helped on to the stage to receive his TLTL Award (TooLittleTooLate Award)," says Soobben. "He thanked everyone and then started to play That Sax .. he looked frail and was battling to stand .. I offered him a chair and he insisted on standing .. anyone who knows will tell you the sax is a difficult instrument to blow .. he tried to blow a few times and nothing happened .. I was worried … and then he just blew us all away with Besame Mucho and I thought I was listening to Arturo Sandoval .. but, this was Sam from Chatsworth, just as good . if only he had the opportunities!!!"