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the shows

striking a chord


Also At St Francis Links - Thursday 23 December 2010 - 19h00 for 19h30
R180 per person including American Hotdogs or Chicken Burgers
Bookings: Liezl or Eugenie at St Francis Links on 042 200 4500 or fb@stfrancislinks.com

The latest Centrestage production will have audiences ‘feeling groovy’ and will strike a chord amongst fans of acoustic guitar music and intricate vocal harmonies, as the legendary music of Simon and Garfunkel and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Neil Young will be recreated and superbly performed.

Entitled ‘Striking a Chord – Memories of Simon and Garfunkel and CSNY’, this is a nostalgic trip back to the hindsight-inspired musical memories of two sets of folk-harmony groups which both left indelible influences on our music and culture.

Popular musician and school teacher Neil Thomson plays the guitar-picking, song writing, rhyming Paul Simon while Roger Gilson tackles the soaring and angelic voice of Art Garfunkel.

Wayne Kallis acts as musical director, plays acoustic guitar and performs as the larger than life David Crosby, while Alan Kozak is a dead-ringer for Neil Young.

The rhythm section comprises of Derick Badenhorst on drums and Mike McAuley on bass, whilst Khanya Matomela tickles the ivories.

“Neil and Roger are ideally cast to play Simon and Garfunkel’, says Centrestage show creator Gary Hemmings.

“They have grown up with and loved their style of music themselves. Their passion is palpable and their vocal blend is quite incredible. Neil is a consummate multi-instrumentalist and musical perfectionist – he has a tremendous feel for the demanding finger picking style of both the Simon and Garfunkel and CSNY genres – they really do the music enormous justice in their interpretation.”

The duo are no strangers to Centrestage, having performed in and introduced a mini-set of Simon and Garfunkel songs in the Centrestage hit show The Folk Lords, which proved extremely popular three years ago. Thompson was also seen previously in the Centrestage show The Magnificent 70’s, while Gilson joined Andre Strydom on stage for the company’s tribute to The Bee Gees some time back.

“The Simon and Garfunkel song-book reads as a ‘greatest hits of memories’ compilation”, says Hemmings.

“Each and every song in their repertoire is a well-known and much loved musical memory trigger – and we will have great fun reminiscing about the times that surrounded the music too!”

Specific arrangements of live songs sung in the duo’s famous ‘Concert in Central Park’ and ‘Old Friends’ concerts have been meticulously chosen and include the likes of Mrs. Robinson, Homeward Bound, American Tune, Late in the Evening, Slip Slidin' Away, Bridge over Troubled Water, 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover, Sounds of Silence and The Boxer, amongst others.

The second half of the show features the anti-establishment counter-culture harmonies of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

“Our musical director Wayne Kallis did an extraordinary job of arranging the complex CSNY harmonies”, says Thomson.

“Songs such as Carry On have some of the most complicated harmonies I have heard – some of the arrangements require 6 different voices to create the full effect that these extraordinary musicians created in the studio, yet he structured them perfectly for us. It is a rare treat to perform alongside musicians of this calibre: Alan Kozak, for instance, has a tremendous feel on guitar and he manages to encapsulate the very specific raw feel and style of the Neil Young vocals and guitar style perfectly.

Kozak pays tribute to Neil Young in a segment dedicated to songs from one of his most popular albums, Harvest, including Old Man, Out on The Weekend, Needle and the Damage Done and Heart of Gold, while Kallis fronts some of the rockier numbers in the show such as Buffalo Springfield’s For What Its Worth, Neil Young’s Rocking in A Free World, David Crosby’s Almost Cut My Hair and Steven Stills’s Love the One You’re With.

“When all 4 voices come in together and suddenly that CSNY magic is in the air, I get goose-bumps”, says long time fan Gilson.

“There really is nothing that beats the melodious impact of the great harmony songs such as Sweet Judy Blue Eyes, Woodstock, Teach Your Children, Southern Cross, Helpless and Wasted on the Way”.

Next show - 5 Jan 2011 @ The Boardwalk Amphitheatre

Tickets for the Port Elizabeth shows can be purchased through Computicket.

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