Versatile drummer Riley G kicks off the year
In collaboration with iSupport Creative Business, the University of KwaZulu Natal’s Centre for Creative Arts and Centre for Jazz and Popular Music presents a monthly series of performances supported by Concerts SA. The latest virtual concert features vocalist Drummer Riley G and his band. Tickets are available from https://nationalartsfestival.co.za/show/riley-g-in-concert/ and are R30 each. The concert can be watched from 5 January 2020
Riley G is a session drummer, composer, producer, teacher, keyboardist and audio engineer based in Durban. Riley G, or Riley Joseph Giandhari, started playing the drums at the age of 3 and was mainly inspired by his father Pravin Giandhari who is also a professional drummer. At the age of 15, Riley started playing the drums at church and with a few gospel bands. Although he has considered degrees in other fields of study, he has always been drawn back to music and therefore enrolled to study Jazz at UKZN in 2013. Apart from his studies, he is currently a session drummer who records and performs with various musicians and artists. Riley has performed with artists such as Hugh Masekela, Neil Gonsalves, Brian Simpson, Mike Del Ferro and Raphael Clarkson. He also teaches drums at Kearsney College and gives private lessons in drums, keyboard, and music theory.
“The music I am playing is from my time as jazz student at University of KwaZulu Natal. I thought it would be fitting to celebrate this time, as it was one of my favorite times as a composer,” says Giandhari.
Riley G’s band is consisting of Sanele Phakathi on piano, Zibusiso Makhathini on keyboards, and Freeman Gumede on bass guitar.
Noticeable performances of Riley include the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz Festival, the Oslo Jazz Festival, Cape Town International Jazz Festival, and Zakifo Music Festival. In 2018, he won two awards at the SAMRO Overseas Scholarship for Composers Competition. The 2020 Mzansi Jazz Awards nominated Riley G for Best Male Jazz Artist, and his debut album titled ‘’Riley G – A Groove for the Nation’’ was nominated for Best Contemporary Jazz Album. He holds a Masters in Music degree (Summa Cum Laude) from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Riley G plans on releasing his album ‘The Riley G Collective’ – Joseph’s Mind’in early 2021.
This programme is part of a unique joint curation between the Centre Creative Arts and Centre for Jazz & Popular Music, both existing at the UKZN. All parties involved are invested in showcasing the vast pool of talent that Durban has while using the great spaces available in the city in unconventional ways.
Concerts SA is a joint South African/Norwegian live music development project housed under the auspices of SAMRO and managed by IKS Cultural Consulting. Concerts SA receives financial, administrative and technical support from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, SAMRO and the SAMRO Foundation. Working with musicians, promoters, venue owners and audiences, and providing support to the sector through research and skills development for music professionals, the project aims to build a vibrant and viable live music circuit in southern Africa. It also seeks to develop an interest in and appreciation of live music by showcasing music performances and conducting workshops at schools.