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Ernie Smith (pictured) could be described as the Halley’s Comet of the music industry because we don’t get to see him perform as often as we’d like, but when we do, his live shows are memorable.
As a man raised with deep gospel roots, Smith’s family comes first in whatever he does and that may explain his absence from the stage. Also, as a fine musician, most of his time is spent brewing the music and distilling the impurities.
If you own any of his music you will know that Smith is so gifted he could play anywhere in the world. As a multi-award winning gospel and jazz artist, his gift is the ability to reach into even the hardest of hearts with his soothing sounds.
If you do not believe me then you have a chance to experience Smith for yourself on Friday as he will be coming out of his hiatus to play at the fifth instalment of the Lion of Judah Music Expressions series which will be held at Joburg’s World of Yamaha Theatre in Woodmead.
The monthly event is a partnership between Lion of Africa Insurance and singer Swazi Dlamini’s Swazitainment Productions. It seeks to unearth new talent by inviting unknown, but gifted singers to every show.
To keep you interested they then have an established artist share the stage with the inexperienced youngsters. The last time we saw Smith at the World of Yamaha Theatre was when he helped to launch Gospel Goes Beyond, an excellent Christian group.
We caught up with Smith after he finished fine-tuning some tracks in the studio.
“Sorry, I was stuck in the studio all day,” said the perfectionist who proved hard to get hold of.
We asked Smith what to expect when at the Lion of Africa concert.
“Some old favourites and some new material from my upcoming album,” he said.
That’s double the value for what you pay as on one hand the music we know is already enough to carry us through the night, but the man also said he had new music – a fact few fans will know.
“I am currently completing my new album called A Time for Love,” the artist said.
“On this project I will be featuring BeBe Winans and other musicians, both local and from abroad,” he continued.
For a man who has successfully worked with the likes of Jonathan Butler, Kirk Whalum and Israel Houghton, it comes as no surprise that Winans signed on to this project.
For the Lion of Africa experience, Smith held his cards close to his chest when it came to being more exact about what to expect.
“Anything is possible for that night, however, some things are best left as a surprise,” he said.
• The concert starts at 7pm and tickets are available at Computicket and the door.