Our first stop of the day was to see one of Winnie’s good friends from Cape Town. Camillo Lombard is a renowned pianist and has had a colorful and illustrious career as a musician in South Africa. After years of composing, performing, and collaborating, Camillo decided to put his skills to use in music education, and created the Cape Music Institute (CMI). The Institute helps talented students who are passionate about music and come from all different backgrounds. At CMI students can learn about many aspects of contemporary music performance, songwriting, music technology and theory with the freedom to focus on the genre of music that they desire. Winnie had met Camillo years ago when she was in South Africa helping with the Berklee African auditions, and ended up bringing him to Boston for the African Scholars Program. It was very exciting for us all to meet him. The Institute is found inside of a giant football (soccer) stadium, built completely of concrete. Upon our arrival the students gathered into a room set up with a PA and a drumset in the front. Marko, Steve, Manuel, and Bobby took their instruments up and encouraged Camillo to join them. They played a few tunes and took questions from the eager students. Marko gave a great talk about how to keep the time in your head while performing a drum solo. He displayed lots of different rhythms while singing the melody of the song, keeping himself on track. The guys along with Winnie talked about arranging and composing, paired with student questions, and then some of the students got up to perform. We were all blown away by the musicality that was displayed by the singers. The background vocalists sang beautiful harmonies with a total understanding of supporting the lead and a very careful blend. Then, we all broke off into different groups in order to talk about individual studies. Manuel took the bass players, Steve took the guitarists, and I took students to talk about songwriting and music business. In my personal lecture, I talked to the students about songwriting techniques, and played them an example of a song I wrote using one. We also talked about how to start getting out and performing, dealing with a band, and how to protect your original material. When the workshop was completed, Winnie got all of the students together in order to present the Berklee Online class scholarship to one of the students. Camillo thought hard about which student it should go to, and was delighted to present it to a multi instrumentalist, Robin McKay.
After refueling, we had to get ready to perform at one of Cape Town’s underground jazz clubs, The Crypt. The Delft Big Band plays here once every 5 weeks, and this particular night Bobby, Manuel, Steve, and Marko were able to sit in with them. The venue is found underneath of the Bishop Tutu church and is beautifully crafted. It was a spectacular night and a wonderful performance. Winnie got up to talk about No Boundaries, and was even able to conduct one of the songs.