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The Athletic Club & Social – Cameron Ward
8 June 2022 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm SASTR80
“I promised Bra Hugh that I would carry on his legacy.”
Legendary South African music icon Hugh Masekela lauded Cameron Ward as “one of his favourite musicians.” A member of Masekela’s band from 21, Ward is now poised to establish himself as an international solo artist, with ambitions to one day take his place among the giants of South African music.
From the very beginning in Lotus River, the strength of his church-going mother shielded a young Ward from local street gangs and music played a pivotal role. His first ‘gig’ at age six was playing the drums in the church band! This in turn morphed into piano, which in turn gave way to guitar. Now, Ward is already a favourite both in the U.S. and Europe, known for his improvisational panache and honed rhythm guitar, not to mention unmatched showmanship skills. Playing in sold-out jazz clubs and festivals worldwide alongside Masekela will do that for you.
Music critics have called Ward “hands-down one of the most versatile musicians of his generation.”
Influenced by revered international guitarists Wes Montgomery, George Benson, Jonathan Butler and Jimmy Dludlu. At first self-taught, Ward met fellow South African guitarist Jimmy Dludlu, who was impressed enough to send him to study music full time for two years. Dludlu also bought Ward his first guitar.After years working as a backing guitarist for a number of South African bands and artists, Masekela, who was looking for a fresh sound, hired Ward.
The young Ward headlined with Masekela at such venues as Carnegie Hall in New York, Yoshi’s Jazz Club in Oakland and The Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. Internationally, Ward has played in countless venues across Africa, and crisscrossed Europe, playing the Lugano Music Festival in Switzerland, the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands, the Montreal Jazz Festival, the Back to Black Jazz Festivals in London and Brazil, the famed Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London and the Blue Note Jazz Club in Tokyo, Japan.