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Tuesday, September 26, 2017


(The cover of Donvé Lee’s book)

Syd Kitchen (February 14, 1951 – March, 2011) was Durban's favourite “Afro-Saxon” musician.

Miriam Erasmus, Fiona Tozer and Daniel Wilson, Richard Haslop, Nux Schwartz, Richard and Graham Ellis, David Marks, Aden Hinds, Will Wallace, Rick and Gill Andrew are just a few of the well-known names to present the Tribute to Syd Kitchen Concert at BBC Beats at the Berea Bowling Club on September 29.

Local musicians who knew and loved both him and his music will present a musical celebration of Syd's life, songs and poetry. They will be joined by Donvé Lee, whose book Scars that Shine has immortalised the legend we knew as Syd Kitchen.

They will sing as many of his songs as they can remember, and embellish the evening with some of their own, so it will be a joyful celebration of home grown music.

There are others to confirm, so don't miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to see Durban's finest singer/songwriters and other stars as they reminisce, and share their memories of the life of this extraordinary legend.

Donvé Lee is an artist, writer and traveller. Her publications include the autobiographical novel An Intimate War. She is also known for her numerous fiction and non-fiction books for young readers, among which are several series on South African artists, musicians, sports celebrities and freedom fighters. She lives in Noordhoek in the Cape Peninsula, where she manages a small craft upliftment project in Masiphumelele, works towards a PhD in Creative Writing, and dreams of painting again.

Donvé Lee writes: “Skollie, saint, scholar, hippest of hippies, imperfect musician with a perfect imagination, Syd Kitchen was, like all great artists, born to enrich his art and not himself. Plagued by drugs, alcohol and depression, too much of an outlaw to be embraced by record companies, he frequently sold his furniture to cover production costs of his albums, seduced fans at concerts and music festivals worldwide with his dazzling ‘Afro-Saxon’ mix of folk, jazz, blues and rock interspersed with marvellously irreverent banter, and finally became the subject of several compelling documentaries, one of which -Fool in a Bubble - premiered in New York in 2010.”

Lee adds: “There are many creative geniuses in the world who never receive the recognition they deserve. Syd Kitchen was one of them. He was also a friend who asked me to write his biography. I have always been intrigued by the complexity and duality of his personality. But these facts alone were not enough to persuade me to write this book. The primary reasons were that Syd’s story was deeply compelling and needed to be told, and there are far too few worthy literary portraits of South African musicians available.”

Copies of the book sell at R250 in Exclusive Books, but they will be on sale at a special Syd Tribute price of R150 at the concert.

The concert takes place on September 29 from 19h00 to 22h00. There is a full cash bar and steak and boerie rolls will be on sale. The Berea Bowling Club is situated at 32 Hewitt Road, Bulwer, Berea, Durban.