Music festival: Tribute to SA legends at Jazz & Classical Encounters Vol 3 at Spier on December 4, 2021- eight hours of music under the stars in the Spier Amphitheatre

What: Jazz & Classical Encounters Vol 3 @ Spier #jazzandclassicalencounters
Where: Spier Amphitheatre
When: Saturday December 4, 2021
Time: First act starts 12.30pm (Bokani Dyer Trio). Last act starts 7.45pm (Feya Faku 4te)
Doors open: noon

Festival tickets:  R565 –one ticket; R1790 – for two tickets and includes picnic
Festival and accommodation tickets: R 3 450 – for two – in a signature room at Spier Hotel – includes breakfast, picnic basket and festival tickets
Direct booking links: or  
Spier website:     

Thrilling news for jazz and classical music enthusiasts is the third edition of Jazz & Classical Encounters Vol 3, which is on at Spier, on December 4, in association with Penny Lane Studios, Ian Burgess-Simpson Pianos and Fazioli. This amazing festival of classical and jazz music is on for one day only. The first act starts at 12.30pm and last act starts at 7.45pm and is scheduled to end at 8.45pm. There are five acts/sets – under the stars in the magnificent amphitheatre at Spier. Spier’s amphitheatre ticks all the boxes in terms of Rona- a glittering lineup, in Cape Town summer- breathtaking. It is an eight hour programme but there will be comfort breaks. In addition to festival tickets, there is a ticket and picnic bundle. There is a wonderful option to stay over at Spier- have breakfast and enjoy a picnic. Travel is opening up with tourists heading away from cold Europe and USA, so bookings advisable as seating in the ampitheatre is limited as per lockdown regulations. Every Jazz & Classical Encounters is special but there is a beautiful poignancy to the 2021 edition, which will be a tribute to artists who have passed on in the last 12 months- legendary soprano Sibongile Khumalo and Cape Town pianist Andre Petersen. These artists are very much missed and it is wonderful that their legacies will be honoured and celebrated. Bokani Dyer and soprano Zandile Mzazi accompanied by pianist Juan Burgess, will present work associated with Sibongile Khumalo’s memorable career. South African pianist Kathy Tagg, who lives in New York, will be flying to Cape Town to play at Jazz & Classical Encounters and will present a homage to Andre Petersen. She will share stories and will provide insights into their extensive collaborations. Andre Petersen made an impact on Feya Faku. The set that Faku will perform at Jazz & Classical Encounters with his Feya Faku 4te, will be dedicated to Petersen. Feya is releasing two CDs which he recorded in 2021, in Switzerland, which are dedicated to Sibongile Khumalo and Andre Petersen.

Info as supplied:

The 2021 Jazz & Classical Encounters Festival Vol 3 @ Spier in association with Penny Lane Studios, Ian Burgess-Simpson Pianos and Fazioli

The 2021 Jazz & Classical Encounters Festival Vol 3 @ Spier Amphitheatre featuring some of the best South African jazz and classical artists in a feast of contemporary music, takes place on Saturday December 4, 2021. The one-day festival at Spier Estate Amphitheatre in Stellenbosch begins at 12.30 pm and will touch your soul, with a mix of jazz and classical icons for eight hours. This special edition of the third must-see event, will pay tribute to a number of artists who have passed on in the last 12 months. Honouring in particular the legendary soprano Mam Sibongile Khumalo and renowned Cape Town pianist Andre Petersen. The event includes refreshment breaks and a chance to absorb the exquisite atmosphere on the estate. 

Opening act-12.30pm – Bokani Dyer Trio

The show will open with SAMA 2019 winner pianist Bokani Dyer and his trio, who will presentNeo Native with Sphelelo Mazibuko on drums and Romy Brauteseth on bass. Dyer, multi-award-winning Motswana-South African pianist, composer and producer, graduated with distinction from UCT and was awarded two international scholarships facilitating training and masterclasses with world-renowned musicians. He has recorded four jazz albums to critical acclaim and won numerous awards. Alongside his jazz career, he also explores various other genres including electronic music. During his training he studied classical piano and played in a salsa band. These various influences have made him aware of the versatility of the piano as an instrument. “In my own compositions, I have consciously allowed all of the music which I have encountered to flow into my music to create a new idea of ‘world music’ where there is music with no borders,” he explains. This led to an interest in exploring traditional styles of music from Africa, particularly percussion rhythms.

2021 marks five years since the formation of the Bokani Dyer Trio featuring Romy Brauteseth and Sphelelo Mazibuko. Together, they have built a strong partnership resulting from the years of collaboration. The trio has travelled through Europe and the UK and most recently took part in the prestigious Piano Trio Festival held at the famed jazz club, Ronnie Scotts in London. For the Jazz and Classical Encounters Festival, the trio will be picking up where they left off, performing a varied selection of music from the Neo Native album as well as newer material yet to be recorded and some works by other South African composers. Neo Native, an intimate, inviting listening experience and a re-imagination of the sound of the standard piano trio. The trio have forged a sound in which all members are at home in the music allowing the freedom for new interpretations at every performance. It is evident from the music on Neo Native that the three musicians share strong chemistry. “Neo Native is an idea about identity. How one chooses to identify and a question of what a person feels connected to as native. In the human experience beyond geography, where does the feeling of home reside?” says Dyer. His music is appreciated for its creativity and emotional depth with “soulful notes, spiritual tones, sophisticated concepts, and simply presented notions”. He draws on a multiplicity of influences, from his Southern African cultural heritage crafting and creating a repertoire based on musical egalitarianism, a celebration of all music with no borders”.             

 2nd act – 2.15pm – soprano Zandile Mzazi and Juan Burgess on piano

Bokani Dyer will be followed by the amazing soprano Zandile Mzazi accompanied by pianist Juan Burgess. Together they will present work deeply connected with Mam Sibongile Khumalo’s illustrious career. The Eastern Cape has gifted the country and the arts and culture industry with the sensational soprano opera musician, Mzazi. Probably more widely known and celebrated abroad, she hails from a musical family in Elliot, and has performed to the A-list audiences across the globe. Over and above getting recognition by local musical bodies, Mzazi has won numerous competitions and awards for her musical genius in places such as Vienna (Austria), Germany, Italy and the USA. Mzazi contends that despite coming from a musical family and having been fortunate to be introduced to oratorio music as a child, she still had to put in a lot of hard work. Her mother was the biggest influence for her hard work. She says “I worked hard, sacrificed, didn’t have a normal life growing up as a child and didn’t have time to go play with dolls or other girls. It was practice at home and practice at school”. Her hard work has certainly paid off…

3rd Act – 4pm -Elinor Spiers Quintet

Next up, we are super excited to welcome one of the foremost violinists in improvised music, Elinor Speirs. She is a sought-after performer in New York and Boston’s jazz and avant-garde scenes. Originally from South Africa, Elinor began her career as a classical violinist in London, quickly realizing that a life in interpreted music was not a good fit for her explosive creative energy. It was only upon moving to New York, and later Boston, that she discovered her improvisational and compositional voice within the rigorous rhythmic and harmonic frameworks of contemporary and avant-garde jazz. Speirs will perform with her Quintet featuring Brydon Bolton on bass, Brathew van Schalkwyk on piano, Jonno Sweetman on drums and Mark Fransman on tenor saxophone. Inspired by John Coltrane’s multi-movement album, A Love Supreme, Elinor Speirs’ Suite for Jazz Quintet consists of four self-contained movements, Throwback, Bounce, Twelve Apostles and Four. Each is an original composition that strives to combine classical, jazz and avant-garde jazz idioms in new and fresh ways.

4th Act – 5.45pm – Kathleen Tagg

The fourth act is New York based South African born pianist, composer and producer Kathleen Tagg.  A 2014 South African Music Awards nominee for best classical album, she has performed on four continents with a host of leading musicians, and the breadth of her collaborations defines her multifaceted career. In the past decade, Tagg’s work has focused on identity, ideas of connection and sound exploration. She created her own unique language at the piano, made up of techniques she developed and experimented with to expand the piano into a full electro-acoustic orchestra. She has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the 92nd St Y and Symphony Space in New York, but is equally at home in non-conventional spaces and theatrical settings. Her performances and numerous recordings range from classical to world music, musical theatre to her own music mixing improvisation with fully realized scores. She holds the Helen Cohn Award as outstanding doctoral graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, and degrees from Mannes College and the University of Cape Town. Tagg has performed throughout North America, Europe, Southern Africa, China and India and her recordings have been featured in film and television. For the past six years, she has toured on four continents with David Krakauer in acoustic and electric configurations. In 2017, she and Krakauer created Keepers of the Flame, an evening-length theatrical music event for Poland’s Borderlands Foundations’ annual Misterium Mostu festival (Mystery of the Bridge). In 2019 they created a concert-length immersive concert experience with video designer Jesse Gilbert for the Pierre Boulez Saal in Berlin, with Kathleen acting as dramaturg, co-creator and producer. Tagg has produced all of her own albums– from classical and classical-crossover albums to her 2016 album Where Worlds Collide with South African jazz pianist Andre Petersen. On the new Breath & Hammer album with Krakauer, she has created an album out of tens of thousands of samples of her and Krakauer’s work. Krakauer refers to the album as “a medieval tapestry the size of an apartment, made up of fingernail sized samples.” Following her two decades of work with singers, she created and curated concerts celebrating new work by living composers in California at SongFest at Colburn from 2014-2016. She has produced countless events, including a series of benefit concerts for the ACLU featuring luminaries such as Abraham Inc, Marc Ribot and members of the Silk Road Ensemble.  She will present a solo set of her “piano orchestra”- grand piano augmented with many layers of loops and samples all created from the body of the piano to create a giant orchestral texture. The program centers around paying homage to her duo partner and dear friend, the great South African jazz pianist and composer Andre Petersen and his spirit of exploration, openness and deep curiosity.

5th Act – 7.45pm – Feya Faku 4tet

The festival will end on a high note with the return to the stage after two years of absence from one of the leading jazz artists in South Africa, legendary New Brighton born trumpeter Feya Faku. New Brighton born trumpeter Feya Faku started playing music informally at a young age and got help from local musicians. He enrolled at the University of Natal to study with Darius Brubeck. In Durban, his career blossomed. Together with Zim Ngqawana, Melvin Peters and Lex Futshane, he formed a band that supported South African great musicians who performed at the Rainbow Jazz Club and restaurant.  In the late 80s, Faku started touring the world with artists such as Abdullah Ibrahim, Bheki Mseleku, Mankunku Ngozi, Sylvia Mdunyelwa and many more. He has recorded six albums under his name as leader and has featured on many others with artists around the world. 

Faku’s quintet with pianist Andre Petersen, bassist Chantal Willie Petersen, drummer Kesivan Naidoo and saxophonist Buddy Wells was one of the bands closest to Faku’s heart. Playing with Andre pushed Faku to play at the highest level. The performance Feya enjoyed most with Andre was playing Duet with him (see YouTube video link below – filmed and recorded at The Jazz on The Hill sessions curated and produced by Pegs Music Project by Hugh Mdlalose Photography.  Andre was one of the greatest accompanists and never got in the way. The passing of Dre Petersen, as he was known to many. Has left a big hole in Feya’s heart. The set that Feya Faku will perform with his 4tet at the 3rd Jazz and Classical Encounters at Spier Wine Farm will be dedicated to Andre Petersen. He will perform with Bokani Dyer on piano, Shane Cooper on bass and Ayanda Sikade on drums. 

Feya will be releasing two CDs which he recorded in 2021 in Switzerland, after a long period of not playing music due to ill health. One with a Sextet and one in duo/trio format. Recordings which are dedicated to Sibongile Khumalo and Andre Petersen.

A note from the organisers

Aymeric Péguillan, of Pegs Music Project who is festival organiser and co-producer of 2021 Jazz & Classical Encounters, says: “Another very challenging year in many respects has passed, and one during which we unfortunately lost many amazing artists. Through their musical heritage, and the legacy they left with us, we can rise again and celebrate them, and through them, spread a message of love and joy. This year, we will pay tribute to 2 immense jazz and classical artists and educators, the incomparable Mam Sibongile Khumalo, a beacon of excellence in both classical and jazz vocal performance, and the unique talent of pianist Andre Petersen. We hope that this very special 3rd edition of the Festival will bring a big dose of joy and energy to our audience and followers.” Péguillan who is co-producer with Penny Lane Studios, adds: “We are excited to carry on in spite of restrictions and limitations, and continue the journey started two years ago, where we present the best of two musical art forms that uniquely highlight our South African identity.” The spectacular amphitheatre at Spier provides the ideal venue to showcase these spectacular musicians and artists and has several outlets for picnics and casual dining. 

The 2021 Jazz & Classical Encounters Festival Vol 3 @ Spier -in association with Penny Lane Studios, Ian Burgess-Simpson Pianos and Fazioli- December 4



Doors open at noon  

1st act – 12.30pm (Bokani Dyer Trio) 1st break – 1.30pm (45 minutes)

2nd act – 2.15pm (soprano Zandile Mzazi and piano) -2nd break – 3.15 pm (45 minutes)

3rd Act – 4pm to 5pm (Elinor Spiers Quintet) -3rd break – 5pm (45 minutes)

4th Act – 5.45pm (Kathleen Tagg) -4th break – 6.45pm (60 minutes)

5th Act – 7.45pm (Feya Faku 4tet) – event ends at 8.45pm  

Follow on Instagram- some of the artists and organisers:

Aymeric Péguillan @aymericpéguillan (festival organiser and co-producer)
Aki Kahn: @aki_kahn (festival organiser and co-producer)
Bokani Dyer @bokanidyer
Elinor Spiers: @elinorspiers
Kathleen Tagg: @kathleentagg
Shane Cooper: @shanecooper
Andre Gilbertson: @andregailgilberston (publicist)    

The 2021 Jazz & Classical Encounters Festival Vol 3 @ Spier – December 4  

Ticket options: R 565 – single festival show ticket (no picnic); R1790 – for two tickets and includes picnic (for two, sharing)

Festival and accommodation tickets:   R 3 450 – for two – in a signature room at Spier Hotel – includes breakfast, picnic basket and festival tickets (for two) and accommodationn. Spier’s Signature rooms are upstairs rooms which are tastefully appointed and feature large comfortable beds and original artworks. The en-suite bathrooms incorporate a large bath and separate shower. In keeping with Spier’s sustainability ethos, mini bars are energy-efficient and shower-heads are water-wise. The room will include full English breakfast served in the Hotel Restaurant.  

Direct booking links: or or  
Spier website:   

Sponsored feature. Featured image: Bokani Dyer Trio. Supplied.