Errol Dyers Picture: Ian Landsberg

Cape Town - Errol Dyers, iconic Cape Town jazz guitarist and composer, died on Friday evening after a lengthy bout with a lung condition known as emphysema. He was 65 at the time of his death.

Dyers came from a musical background with his family being musically inclined. He took to the streets of Cape Town where he became well known for his mixture of Cape jazz and Goema.

His extraordinary career allowed him to perform with some incredible local and international artists. 

These included Abdullah Ibrahim, Basil 'Manenberg' Coetzee and Robbie Jansen to name but a few. His album Remember District 6 took him back to his roots as a Capetonian. 

The album also featured the likes of Lionel Beukes, Sammy Hartman, Monty Weber and Basil Coetzee. Some of his recent work included the album All in One.

Dyers along with Paul Hanmer, McCoy Mrubata, Sipho Gumede and Frank Paco comprised the group known as the Sheer All Stars. 

During their time together they also released two albums, Indibano and Live at the Blue Room.

"More than anything, it's Cape Town that has influenced my sound," Dyers once said.

More recently he was active in the Cape Town jazz circuit playing alongside drummer Jack Momple in his Cape Jazz Band and with pianist George Werner, bassist Peter Ndlala and drummer Carlo Fabe.

Molly Barron grew up with Dyers and has known and played alongside him since the 1960s. Barron said that Dyers “was a genius” with the guitar in his hand.

Barron added that because of the geographical location of musicians in Cape Town, they become disconnected with the rest of the world and aren’t always recognised on the world stage.

“Had Errol been born in England or in America he would have been recognised as one of the world’s greatest guitarists.”  

Dyers' passing comes on the back of legendary jazz musician Ray Phiri’s death last week.


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