Paying tribute to Cape Town Jazz legends

Paying tribute to Cape Town Jazz legends

In the build-up to this year’s Suidoosterfees, we are putting the spotlight on Cape Town Jazz supremo Camillo Lombard, who will light up the festival with ‘Kaapse Khoi Jazz Legendes’.

What is your first musical memory?

My first musical memory was seeing my dad Robbie Lombard play the piano and conduct our church choir. I was always fascinated by his passion for music.

What was your first professional production/appearance?

My first professional performance was with Cape Town night club band “Topaz”. I recall the bassist of the band, Mr Isaac Abrahams, asking my parents for permission so that I could perform with the band and get paid.

Were you an active musician during your school years?

In primary school I sang in the school choir under the directorship of Valerie Abrahams and during my high school years I studied classical and jazz piano with Glynis Carolus. I also accompanied the school during assemblies. My principal, Mr Gilbert Thomas, played a huge role in my high school music career by instituting subject music at Elsies River High. I remember watching him skillfully sliding his fingers across the piano during intervals. This inspired me to practice even harder.

What type of music did you start out with and did your taste change?

I started playing ‘Pata Pata’ by copying my dad. My taste then changed to religious, choral and organ music and later to jazz.

Tell us about your involvement with the Suidoosterfees.

This year I will present and celebrate our own Cape Jazz legends in a production entitled ‘Kaapse Khoi Jazz Legendes’. We will take the audience down memory lane with an eclectic mix of Cape Folk music indigenous to the soil.

What do you count as your biggest achievement thus far?

My biggest achievement would be working with my icon Jonathan Butler and being a part of the opening act to Michael Jackson’s ‘History’ tour here in SA, and performing at Carnegie hall in New York City.

Bucket list?

I would love to host my own TV music program and highlight the paradise of talent we have in our country.

* ‘Kaapse Khoi Jazz Legendes’ can be seen at the Artscape Opera House on Saturday, April 29, from 8pm to 9.30pm.

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