Ancient Agents: 1 February 2017

Ancient Agents, instrumental interplay between world-class musicians

In association with Concerts SA, Ancient Agents will be touring South Africa for two weeks in early 2017. With musical influences from Africa, India and Scandinavia, the quartet combines traditional rhythms and contemporary harmonies to produce a richly textured acoustic world beat that crosses genres, borders and time signatures.
Ancient Agents invite you on a musical journey that bridges cultures, combining grooves from north India and the Middle East with Afro beats and polyrhythms – ancient sounds telling a modern tale.

This local-international collaboration brings together four multi-instrumentalists – an innovative lead guitarist, a melody-driven bassist and two intuitive, dexterous percussionists whose instruments range from Arabic to Indian and North African. Each band member brings with him a distinct sound, an impressive performance history and international experience.

Personnel –
An admirer of John McLaughlin and John Schofield, Reza Khota’s (SA) guitar strings produce a crossover between east and west, with influences of jazz and classical. He has worked with SA’s finest musicians, among them Kesivan Naidoo, Shane Cooper and Buddy Wells, and recently taught master-classes at the University of Toronto. One of SA’s busiest session musicians, bassist Schalk Joubert (SA) is a product of his cultural heritage. He is able to articulate South African melodies, West African grooves and harmony in the European tradition to produce a cohesive, melodic sound. He has performed, produced and recorded with the likes of David Kramer, Nico Carstens and Michelle Shocked.
Fredrik Gille (Sweden) has collected and mastered a variety of percussion instruments from all over the world, with Middle Eastern drumming being his expertise – riq, frame drum, cajon. His sound is influenced by Arabic rhythms and Spanish music. He’s worked with composer Andreas Vollenweider, Algerian vocalist Karima Nayt, Swedish trip folk band Bazar Blå and Flamenco en Route.Ronan Skillen (Ireland) is inspired by the aesthetic of record label ECM, and music from Mali to Memphis and Mumbai. His flair for improvisation began with the didgeridoo, and his later schooling in Indian classical music and wide palette of textural percussive sounds combine to create a rich soundscape, incorporating tabla and hybrid percussion kit. He has toured with Rodriguez and Johnny Clegg, and performed with Manu Dibango among others.

National Tour –

Cape Town – Alliance Française du Cap – Friday 20th January
Muizenberg – Casa Labia – Sunday 22nd January
Johannesburg – The Orbit – Friday 27th & Saturday 28th January
Durban – L’Aperitivo – Sunday 29th January
Durban – Alliance Française du Durban – Tuesday 31st January
East London – Stirling Auditorium – Wednesday 1st February
Knysna – Yacht Club – Thursday 2nd February
Prince Albert – The Showroom Theatre – Friday 3rd February
Cape Town – Blah Blah Bar – Saturday 4th February
Rondebosch – Reeler Theatre Rondebosch – Sunday 5th February