Journey to the Past and Future: Abdullah Ibrahim plays »Solotude«

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About the production


7:30 p.m.


9 p.m.

The remarkable life story of this 87-year-old musical legend could form the basis of a fairy tale or adventure novel: Abdullah Ibrahim was born and grew up in South Africa during the time of Apartheid. In the early 1960s, he emigrated to Europe, where Duke Ellington heard him play and convinced him to go to New York. Working there with jazz greats like John Coltraine and Ornette Coleman, Ibrahim was soon recognized as one of the leading jazz musicians of his generation. Yet he retained deep ties to South Africa. Genadendal, near Cape Town, has a special significance for Ibrahim, for it was there that an educated Black social class arose in the years after 1737, encouraged by the activities of Moravian missionaries from the Herrnhut Brotherhood. Nelson Mandela (at whose inauguration as South Africa’s president in 1994 Ibrahim performed) once said the Herrnhut missionaries were the only Whites in the history of South Africa who gave instead of taking. Mandela changed the name of the presidential residence in Cape Town to Genadendal. For Ibrahim, his performance in Herrnhut will therefore be a kind of homecoming: “There is a deep and historic connection that echoes in my personal and collective memory.”


  • Piano Abdullah Ibrahim


  • Location Kirchensaal der evangelischen Brüdergemeine Herrnhut

  • Address Zinzendorfplatz 5, 02747 Herrnhut

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Cooperation partners

Brüdergemeine Herrnhut

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