THE WORLD IN A GUITAR
The World in a Guitar is a vibrant large-scale instrumental production featuring an eclectic core of outstanding instrumentalists from all over South Africa. The show is anchored by the well-known Aquarian Quartet. Collectively, the eleven musicians in the show represent much of our cultural musical diversity.
For a very long time the guitar, a simple wooden box with an extended neck and six or so metal or nylon strings strung across a sound-hole, has held most of humanity, young, old, rich and poor, utterly enthralled. Its simple and elegant design has made sure that just about any society or culture you look at, you will find there, the ubiquitous guitar, speaking many languages, played in a seemingly infinite variety of ways.
The acoustic guitar in particular is still the most widely-traveled, backpacked, trek-up-a-mountain instrument in the world and cannot be beaten for its ability to produce polytonal music in far-flung and remote places. When last did you see somebody haul out a piano round the campfire?
The World In A Guitar is a show that brings together the stunning fret-board wizardry of our country's finest guitarists and acoustic musicians in a variety of arrangements. It is a celebration of this unique, endlessly fascinating and timeless instrument.
The essential idea behind the show is an outward musical extrapolation from the members that make up The Aquarian Quartet (Steve Newman, Tony Cox, Greg Georgiades and Syd Kitchen) to many of the exceptional guitarists and other musicians that they have worked with over the years.
In the history of South African guitar legends there has never been a grouping quite as musically supercharged as The Aquarian Quartet. It comprises award-winning acoustic guitar icons Steve Newman and Tony Cox in an inspired collaboration with exceptional guitarist, oud and bazouki player Greg Georgiades and multi-talented guitarist, singer and songwriter Syd Kitchen, all individual recording artists in their own right, long-time friends and all born under the sign of Aquarius. The Aquarian Quartet has released one acclaimed album recorded in the Grahamstown Cathedral and titled, simply, Live.
Tony Cox spent several years performing with Cape Town's renowned Errol Dyers; not to mention his now-legendary duo partnership with Steve Newman. In turn, guitar ace supremo Newman has worked with violinist Terrence Scarr, who did fine work for Newman's super-group, Tananas. Greg Georgiades will be working with the exceptional tabla player, Ashish Joshi, and the music of Syd Kitchen and maskanda king Madala Kunene will haunt your mind for weeks after hearing them together. Saudiq Khan is a flamenco powerhouse; his strength and dexterity on the Spanish guitar has earned him a growing reputation throughout South Africa. He will perform as a soloist and will also be doing some 'rip-em-up stuff' with the other musicians. Edi Niederlander is probably one of South Africa's best-kept secrets and, besides being a great guitarist, is an exceptionally fine singer/songwriter. Rounding off the list of musicians is East London-based, talented young drummer, Kesivan Naidoo.
Recognized master guitarist, South African recording artist and mastermind behind the concept of The World in a Guitar, Tony Cox has received multiple nominations at the South African Music Awards (SAMA) and has won twice in the 'Best Instrumental' category - in 2001 for Matabele Ants and in 2003 for China.
The guitar in the hands of a master is a force to be reckoned with in whatever genre of music. The genres that will be performed during The World in a Guitar, with this outstanding collection of musicians will be, as the title of the show suggests, pan-global. The music is vibrant, exciting, lively, haunting, moving, funny, wide-ranging and ultimately, brilliant.