|Estelle Kokot. Photo credit: Richard Kaby|
South African pianist/ singer ESTELLE KOKOT writes for LondonJazz about her gig at Cafe Posk on Saturday the 16th of June 2012
June the 16th marks the anniversary of the Soweto Uprising, when thousands of students protested in the streets of Soweto in response to the introduction of Afrikaans as the medium of instruction in local schools. Shockingly, the brutality of the police saw more than 170 young people killed on that day. Never forgotten and never to be repeated, the 16th of June is Youth Day.
When I was invited by Tomasz Furmanek to perform at Cafe Posk on the 16th of June, my first instinct was to commemorate Youth Day at my forthcoming gig. I also set about trying to find a Polish National Holiday that coincided with June the 16th but the closest is Children’s day on the 1st of June.
After much deliberation ( having grown up during the apartheid era in South Africa) I have decided to not make any political statements and would prefer to gently acknowledge June the 16th by singing a song I wrote in 1998 about the Soweto Uprising called Modus Vivendi .
The intimacy and the atmosphere of a mini concert setting makes Cafe Posk a very special place and I am really looking forward to my set there on the 16th, showcasing material from the current album, a few standards and one or two newbies.
This gig is going to set me up for my Roots Revisited Heritage tour in South Africa, which kicks off in Cape Town at the Kalk Bay (Cork Bay) Theatre on the 22nd of July.