The Bokani Dyer Trio comprises of Bokani Dyer who is a pianist, composer and producer. Romy Brauteseth on bass and Sphelelo Mazibuko and drums.
Bokani has won multiple awards including the Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year Award for Jazz in 2011 and 1st prize in the SAMRO Overseas Scholarship competition in 2013.
His sold out shows at the Vortex in London 2014 were described as “thrilling” and “superlative”. His recent career highlights include playing at the opening of the London Jazz Festival 2014, Jazzahead showcase in Bremen, Germany 2016, headlining the Cape Town International Jazz Festival 2016, performing at the launch of the SA/Russia Seasons in Moscow & St Petersburg 2016, the Safaricom International Jazz Festival in Nairobi, Kenya 2017, Musique en Ete Festival in Geneva 2017 and Festival Metis in Paris, France 2018.
Born in 1986 in Gaborone, Botswana, where many artists from South Africa, including his father, musician Steve Dyer, were living in exile during apartheid, Bokani Dyer moved back to SA as a child in 1990. He grew up mainly in Johannesburg before moving to study jazz at the prestigious University of Cape Town. In 2009 Dyer was runner up in the SAMRO Overseas Scholarship Competition and spent 3 weeks in New York, where he was tutored by Jason Moran. In 2011, Dyer was awarded the esteemed Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Jazz. In 2014, he was chosen for a Pro Helvetia funded Artist Residency in Switzerland. He went on to form the Bokani Dyer Swiss Quintet with musicians Donat Fisch, Stefan Kurmann, Norbert Pfammatter and Matthias Spillmann. Their first European tour with his Swiss-based quintet in 2014 with performances at various venues across Switzerland, Germany and the Czech Republic.
In 2015, the Bokani Dyer Swiss Quintet reunited for a 10-show tour of South Africa and Mozambique, opening the Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Festival and then going on to perform packed shows in King William’s Town, Johannesburg, Maputo and Cape Town. The tour also served as to launch Dyer’s third album, World Music. Following on the success of the SA tour, the BDSQ toured Switzerland in October 2015, performing in Basel, Zurich, Bern, Wintethur and Interlaken. In November, Dyer travelled to the UK to collaborate with harmonica player, Adam Glasser, playing various venues around London and keeping the spirit of South African jazz alive. In April 2016, The Bokani Dyer Trio was selected for and performed at the annual Jazzahead showcase in Bremen, Germany. In 2016 brought about a collaboration with SA theatre director Mkhululi Mabija on his production My Daughter/Son. In that same year Bokani produced saxophonist Sisonke Xonti’s debut album Iyonde, and performing as a soloist at the launch of the SA/Russia Cultural Seasons in Moscow and St Petersburg. Dyer curated a regular slot at The Orbit Jazz Club, the Jazzafrika Legacy Sessions, dedicated to transcribing and performing the works of SA jazz composers from the last decades. He was also honoured to accept an invitation from legendary South African trumpeter Feya Faku to join his Quintet.
Complementing his career as a jazz artist, Dyer has also explored various other genres and is particularly interested in electronic music.
In 2007, Dyer and longtime collaborator vocalist/composer, Sakhile Moleshe founded groove outfit, Soul Housing Project (formerly Plan Be).
Dyer has recorded three jazz albums under his own name with his debut album, Mirrors, being released in 2010. Emancipate the Story was released in 2011 was recorded during his time as Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year.
His most recent offering, World Music released in 2015 and nominated for Best Jazz Album at the 2016 South African Music Awards. He is currently working on various projects with his father, legendary musician Steve Dyer, under the Dyertribe label as well as in a solo capacity. He composed the Original score for “Catching Feelings” a film directed by top SA comedian Kagiso Lediga.
In February 2017, he performed at the Safaricom Jazz Festival in Nairobi, Kenya. He, alongside his father Steve Dyer, co-directed the re-launch of an exciting collaboration project with artists from various Southern African countries.
Port Elizabeth born Bassist Romy Brauteseth was surrounded by a musical family and played piano and guitar from an early age. She learnt to play electric bass and read music and played in the Victoria Park High School Big Band. She was chosen for the National Schools Big Band in 2005 and the National Youth Band in 2010. After matriculating, she studied Graphic Design at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University whilst continuing a freelance music career in various bands, collaborations and theatre shows.
Brauteseth moved to Cape Town and found her musical match in the upright bass, which she started playing in 2011. She has become one of SA’s most sought after young bass players and has played with top artists including Melanie Scholtz, Kesivan Naidoo, Mark Fransman, Marcus Wyatt, Feya Faku, Nduduzo Makathini, Dan Shout, Reza Khota, Lee Thomson, Gorm Helfjord, Kevin Gibson, Andrew Lilley, Alvin Dyers, Bokani Dyer and Kyle Shepherd at gigs and festivals across the country, and increasingly internationally. A recent career highlight was playing with Italian pianist Vittorio Mezza on his visit to SA.
Sphelelo Mazibuko has performed and recorded as a drummer with many accomplished & respected South African artists including singers Dorothy Masuka, Sibongile Khumalo Melanie Scholtz & Lindiwe Maxolo, Metro Jazz album award Winner Nomfundo Xaluva, Steve Dyer, highly respected Gospel Producer Mthunzi Namba, Gospel sensation Sfiso Ncwane, Standard Bank Young Artist Award recipients: Benjamin Jephta, Bokani Dyer, Shane Cooper & Concord Nkabinde, Bassist & band leader Musa Manzini, Pianist extraordinaire Neil Gonsalves, accomplished Guitar & Jazz Educator Dr Mageshen Naidoo, and the winner of Idols SA, Lloyd Cele as well with ensembles such as the UKZN Big Band & UKZN Jazz Legacy Ensemble.
Born in Newcastle, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, Mazibuko was born into a family with generations of musical tradition. He completed his a BA in Music and Media studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in 2013 and his freelance work has taken him to all corners of South Africa as well as to Virginia in the USA. Some of the events he has performed at include the annual MTN Hazelmere Dam Jazz Festival, Macufe Music Festival, Joy of Jazz, Grahamstown Jazz Festival, Durban Music Festival, Ugu Jazz Festival, Lejweleputswa Festival & the Soweto Theatre Birthday Celebration.
These highly accomplished musos will be taking to the Jazz’Afro Sundays @ The Barn stage for a thrilling performance this Sunday!
See the Bokani Dyer Trio on 17 February 2019 at The Barn Theatre, PE Opera House from 17h00. Admission is R70.00 (R50.00 Pensioners) – limited seating be sure to be early.