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Friday, August 19, 2022


(Above: Melvin Peters & Naresh Veeran)

In an attempt to help re-create a culture of live music in Durban post-COVID, Essenwood musician, Naresh Veeran, has decided to begin as all musicians do, at home.

Sunday Jazz On My Lawn is Veeran’s initiative to create a perfect Sunday afternoon experience by sharing his Essenwood garden and Durban’s amazing weather with musicians, picnic lovers and fans of live music once monthly. His home can best be described as “iconically old-school Durban” and features a parklike garden which Veeran says has been at least a hundred years in the making. To date, it has played host to sold-out sessions by Veeran performing solo and with his friends including British-born Raymond Perrier and Mexican artist and performer, Ram Miranda.

Veeran’s next lawn session is on August 28 at 13h30 and promises to be an epic afternoon as he will be performing solo on flute and saxophone against a customised studio backing he especially put together for the event.

“The intention,” Veeran says, “is to spread the gospel of jazz and the spirit of live performance by building a bridge over familiar old-school popular hits in a way that is unexpected and refreshing. Think jazz mash-ups on flute over 80s and 90s hits from the likes of Sade, Tevin Campbell, George Michael, Sting, Michael Jackson and, more recently, CKay, interspersed with some old-school growling tenor saxophone standards.”

Between sets, award-winning pianist, Melvin Peters, will make a guest appearance having played a sold-out performance on Veeran’s lawn some two months back.

With an international music career spanning some four decades, Peters shared the stage with many jazz legends both in South Africa and abroad. A student at the former University of Natal in the early 1980s, he toured the United States with his university band, the “Jazzanians”, and then went onto to build an enviable performance career. A sought-after soloist, session musician and jazz education examiner, Peters is a former jazz education lecturer who also holds qualifications from Harvard University.

Veeran, a classical flautist by training, took a break from music performance in his late 20s to join the SABC and, eventually, corporate South Africa. While he became a best-selling author and a filmmaker along the way, he also began performing publicly 18 months ago as a semi-retirement gift to himself. Veeran has since performed in venues in and around his home town of Durban. A martial arts and meditation practitioner in the Renshi Kung Fu tradition, Veeran is an MBA/PhD from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Join Veeran and his family in their Essenwood garden together with Peters on Sunday, August 28, 2022, at 13h30. Pack a picnic, a blanket and your favourite tipple. Street parking is available with a dedicated car-guard on duty.

Entrance is R120 per person and space is limited so book early on 082 376 0799.