Wednesday 6 August, 8:00 pm

Adam Glasser presents New South African Voices

Book Tickets


Due to unforeseen circumstances, Pinese Saul has had to withdraw from this jazz night.  Under the circumstances St Martin’s are prepared to offer a refund to any ticketholders who request it.  Please contact the box office on 020 7766 1100 or at boxoffice@smitf.org.

The ‘New South African Voices’  [NSAV]   will perform a range of township songs and jazz standards  bearing the distinctive vocal harmony developed under the guidance  legendary  diva Pinise Saul. The NSAV repertoire sung,  in zulu and xhosa, and driven by infectious township rhythmic grooves &  includes compositions by Dudu Pukwana as well as material from poet/composer  Eugene Skeef’s contribution to the Commonwealth Games ‘Big Sing’ project.

Adam Glasser became a pianist working on cruise ships and in restaurants “that’s how I learned to play”. A modest description, because he studied in Paris before the mid-1980s when he regularly worked with various South African jazz artists. On a cruise ship in the Caribbean, he met a harmonica player and asked for a couple of lessons.

“At the same time I discovered a Stevie Wonder album, Eivets Rednow, which is Stevie Wonder backwards. It was Burt Bacharach songs on this album. They were the most fantastic interpretations. When I heard that I thought, Hey, I’ve got one of those and I started to check it out.”

As a pianist the plan was to figure out where the notes were. He played both instruments at the same time to visualise the knotty technicalities, a skill he now uses on stage.

“But, having said that, Toots Thielemans, the world’s greatest harmonica player, was already a guitarist… You need another instrument to help you learn the harmonica, particularly for jazz”.

Being the son of South African composer Stanley Spike Glasser exposed him to all sorts of musicians, but he still had to find his own way to express his talent.

“I would never have dreamed I would be playing a jazz festival in Cape Town. It’s taken a long time and if there’s one thing I could suggest to people, it’s keep your nerve”.

While the harmonica still features under the miscellaneous category of jazz instruments, Adam not only plays it well but brings a uniquely South African touch to it.

He finally recorded his debut album Free at First in 2009. After winning a Sama for best contemporary album he really wanted to work with South African artists and prepared several tracks, and over a matter of days he worked with several artists to record Mzansi in September 2010, but it took another year of post-production to finish.

“Every single second of that album, I meant, there was nothing left to chance.”


First set 8.00pm – 8.50pm
Second set 9.10pm – 10.00pm
Food served until 9.00pm


Scintillating jazz deserves sizzling curry.  Get your taste buds in the groove with a delicious curry to accompany your Jazz Night in the Café in the Crypt. For £11.25 enjoy a beer or glass of house wine and buffet style serving.

The perfect accompaniment to an evening of hot jazz.
Drinks served until 10.00pm
Cafe open to jazz ticket holders only from 6.30pm

Adam Glasser presents New South African Voices
Start: August 6, 2014 8:00 pm
End: August 6, 2014 10:00 pm
Venue: Café in the Crypt
Phone: 020 7766 1100

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