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Friday, November 6, 2015


(Melvin Peters)

Coming up at the Rainbow Restaurant in Pinetown on Sunday (November 9) is what promises to be a very special concert. Top Durban contemporary pianist Melvin Peters returns to the Rainbow for an afternoon of music with his special friend, legendary Scandinavian jazz trumpeter Arne Hiorth. Alongside Melvin and Arne will be Ildo Nandja on bass and Bruce Baker on drums.

Peters started classical piano lessons at the age of six and continued through high school. Whilst studying towards a Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Natal, he began jazz piano lessons under the tutelage of Darius Brubeck in 1983. After completing a Master of Music degree in Jazz Performance in 1989, he was appointed lecturer in Jazz Studies at the University of Durban-Westville in 1990. He taught here for ten years and during this time was awarded a scholarship to study at Harvard University in 1998/9. He has performed locally and internationally in France, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States.

Peters has worked with several South African jazz musicians, including Winston Mankunku, Barney Rachabane, Tandie Klaasen, Sandile Shange and Gloria Bosman. Personal highlights include performances with such luminaries as guitarist Herb Ellis and drummer Ginger Baker, as well as the opportunity to share the stage with the legendary jazz pianist Dave Brubeck at Harvard University in 1999. He has also collaborated with Abdullah Ibrahim in the formation of the Cape Town Jazz Orchestra, for which he was also appointed Music Director.

Arne Hiorth is an experienced musician, composer, producer, teacher and project coordinator. He has worked with top acts in Norway, like Mari Boine, Bjørn Eidsvåg, Anja Garbarek, Oslo Groove Company (Spellemann Award for Jazz 1990). Released his first solo album in 2004, 7 Oliphaunt Images, including top musicians like Eivind Aarset, Kjetil Bjerkestrand and Hallgrim Bratberg. Other cd's include the Christmas  album Snow ( 2007) with Helge Nysted and Loops and Bridges (2010) with singer/songwriter Oddrun Eikli. During one of his many visits in Cape Town, he was shown a CD called Quii- The First People, released on Arc Music ltd. Quii is a kind of cd sampler of original and traditional San music …. weird to listen to but intriguing in many ways: polyrythmic grooves , yodling – like singing on blue scales , strange vocal pitches. Hiorth has since then spent many years letting this music grow in his home studio, and looking for ways of wrapping grooves and themes in a more western soundscape, without loosing the original itch in the music.

Imminent in this process has been Eivind Aarset, whose layers of guitars, basses and electronics always seems to add more truth and soul to a project, and drummer Ottar Nesje, with his long experience with African grooves. Kjetil Bjerkestrand has added innovative synth layers, Oddrun Eikli has added airy vocals, and the African singers Sepanya Mahlangu and Tebogo Tshotetsi, the latter from the San people, are responsible for the true African soul in the songs. The rest of the programming and all the trumpets are by Arne Hiorth.

Catch Melvin Peters and Arne Hiorth at the Rainbow on November 8. Doors open at 13h00. Tickets: R60 at the door or booked through

The Rainbow Restaurant Estd 1981 is situated at 23 Stanfield Lane, Pinetown. More information on 031 702 9161 or 083 463 8044 or email: or visit