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Cape jazz maestro Hilton Schilder launches new album

Cape veteran jazz muso Hilton Schilder has launched a new album titled ’Hotti Kulture’ along with his band, The Hilton Schilder Goema Club. Picture: Supplied

Cape veteran jazz muso Hilton Schilder has launched a new album titled ’Hotti Kulture’ along with his band, The Hilton Schilder Goema Club. Picture: Supplied

Published Nov 28, 2021


AFTER a nearly two-year hiatus from performing because of the Covid pandemic, veteran jazz musician Hilton Schilder returns to the stage with the release of a new album with his band, The Hilton Schilder Goema Club.

Band leader Schilder is a veteran in the music industry, a prolific composer, artist and multi instrumentalist who plays both conventional instruments like piano, guitar, drums, percussion, bass and indigenous Khoisan and African instruments. He is one of few musicians who plays the !Xaru, a Khoisan mouthbow.

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Schilder said after 18 months at home it was fantastic to play in front of an audience.

“I don't like live streaming. I don’t think it’s feasible for us. The people who listen to our music are older and they aren’t as tech-savvy,” he said.

The album, Hotti Kulture, was named after a play on the word horticulture, including aspects of identity, culture and a cheeky reference to the band and derogatory term “hotnot”.

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Schilder said he wanted to take the derogatory term and morph it into something else.

“Goema is associated with coloured people and culture and we wanted to incorporate that into the name,” Schilder said.

The Hilton Schilder Goema Club band. Picture: Supplied

Schilder said creating Hotti Kulture was an organic experience with young and talented musicians.

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The ensemble represents a group of nine musically proficient multi-genre performers. Some are teachers or involved in cultural music development in communities either at their own music schools, bands and youth groups.

“I’ve been planning this for a few years now and I was waiting for the right people. Everyone has prioritised the Hilton Schilder Goema Club despite having other commitments,” he said.

The muso said they were inspired by past work. “We used a lot of what we knew and brought that to life in the present.”

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Hotti Kulture is album number 43 for Schilder and he said he feels more optimistic about the music industry now than ever before.

“I hope the pandemic will go away so we can resume to some semblance of normality.”

After many decades in the industry, Schilder said he was grateful for his wife Tesna Schilder’s support and he could not thank her enough.

“In our 39 years of marriage, she never asked me to get a normal job. She’s supported me through it all.”

Schilder said his will to live also inspires him daily. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2010.But is in remission now.

“You have to be positive in everything. Know and believe that things are going to work out for you.”

On Sunday evening, Schilder and his band will perform at the popular jazz haunt Swingers Night Club in Wetton, a venue where many musicians had their introduction to the music industry.

Schilder who will play the piano and mouthbow will be accompanied by Carlo Fabe's irresistible Goema rhythms on the drums and Sean Sanby on double bass. A tightly arranged horn section weaves energised solos from Byron Abrahams on tenor saxophone, Duncan Johnson on alto and baritone saxophones, Muneeb Hermans on trumpet, Brett Edwards on trombone, the flute and tenor sax solos of Mark Fransman. While Candice Thornton’s striking, warm and sultry voice will add nuance. A young student, Clayton Pretorius, has been invited to perform on electric bass.

Schilder said being able to play at Swingers once again would be exhilarating.

An associate of Kevin Harris, owner of Swingers Jazz Club, Jai Reddy, said Schilder has always represented the Cape Flats and its collective culture.

“He is very conscious of the cultural story he tells through his music and has always been very proud of his roots,” he said.

He added: “Having him perform at Swingers is significant because it is in the heart of the Cape Flats.”

Schilder’s advice to aspiring musicians was to practise and then practise some more.

“Get to know your instrument. Know what it can and can’t do. Get out of your comfort zone and explore.”

The Hilton Schilder Goema Club will be performing live at Swingers Jazz Club on Sunday, November 28 at 7PM. Tickets are R100.

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