Addison Frei loves performing in South Africa

BIG CITY LIFE: From one big city to another, Addison Frei leaves New York to visit Joburg to perform his unique music.

Returning to the City of Gold to play his music, this international freelance pianist and composer captured locals with his impressive performance at Wits University.

Addison Frei is from New York City but finds a home for his music right here in South Africa.

Having been invited to return as part of the Wits Music Concert Series, Frei did not have to think twice about the offer.

“I was proud to be the first prize winner in Unisa’s Jazz Piano competition last year,” Frei said.

“I also won first prize in the 2015 American Jazz Pianist competition. I’m excited to be recording a new trio record in Switzerland this fall on the TCB Records label. Later this year I will become a student at Juilliard, touring and performing with their Artist Diploma Ensemble.

Excited to be back, he added, “It’s an honour to be back in South Africa. The people here are so welcoming and kind and I’m happy to be part of the revitalization of jazz at Unisa and throughout the country.”

Speaking of his current tour dates in the country he said, “I’ve played a few workshops so far at Tut and the University of Pretoria, as well as a trio concert at Unisa. [I’ve been] at the University of Natal in Durban, the Crypt in Cape Town and Wits in Joburg.”

Touring with the music he composes and loves, he talked about the interesting mix of genres that he performed at Wits University on 7 April.

“I’m playing a mix of American Songbook music known as jazz standards and my original compositions, which meld classical music, pop, folk, RnB and jazz traditions. A lot of the music I’ll be performing, I have recorded on different albums including my records Transit and Intentions as well as trio CDs M(y)our World and Three. I’m also playing a few new compositions inspired by the current political climate in America.”

A melodically spectacular show and utter success, Frei had Joburg audiences wanting more and perhaps he’ll visit South Africa again soon.

Edited by Beryl Knipe

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Tweet @City_Buzz_ and tell us if you’ve been to one of Addison Frei’s performances and how it was.

Racine Edwardes

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