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Matt Bianco and all that jazz

Matt Bianco, the sensational UK jazz-funk band, is heading to Cape Town for one concert only. We spoke to them to find out more.

Eugene Yiga: You guys have been making music for over 30 years. What have been your most memorable experiences?

Matt Bianco: We've been lucky to have had many memorable experiences. It's always exciting to visit a country for the first time and our concert in Cape Town will be our first in South Africa, so we are very much looking forward to it.

Other memorable experiences have been our first trip to Japan (as it was great to see the audience singing along to our music when English is not their first language) and playing in front of 250 000 people in Holland. There can't be too many places where that many people would gather for an event!


Your sound has been described as a mix of jazz, funk, Latin, fusion, pop, and a bit of rock. How has it changed over the years?

Our core influences haven't really changed, but recording in many different countries with great local musicians has been both a great experience and a great learning curve. We've recorded in Brazil, America, Cuba and Spain and the musicians we have worked with have influenced our approach and sound.

But even when we record in the UK, the fact that there are only two of us gives us the option to use different musicians on different songs. So we are able to choose the musicians that would best suit the style of song we're working on.


Could you tell us more about [your latest album] "Hideaway"?

With "Hideaway", we went for more of a "chill out" approach, though most of our influences are apparent and the album still has a Latin feel. We feature Elisabeth Troy on one of the songs and she will also be appearing with us in Cape Town.


Speaking of Cape Town, what do you have planned for the concert at GrandWest?

There will be eight of us on stage and we will be playing most of the hits that people will know, as well as featuring songs from our "Hideaway" and "Hi Fi Bossanova" albums.

[On the same night as the Matt Bianco concert, the Cape Town Jazzathon will be relaunched in anticipation of the next Jazzathon event in 2014. To mark this occasion, the Jazzathon All Star Grand Band, consisting mainly of young and up-and-coming musicians, will open for Matt Bianco.]

Matt Bianco performs at Cape Town's Grand Arena on 2 December. Tickets are available from Computicket. For more information, go to

About Eugene Yiga

Eugene graduated from the University of Cape Town with distinctions in financial accounting and classical piano. He then spent over two-and-half years working in branding and communications at two of South Africa's top market research companies. Eugene also spent over three-and-a-half years at an eLearning start-up, all while building his business as an award-winning writer. Visit, follow @eugeneyiga on Twitter, or email moc.agiyenegue@olleh to say, um, hello.

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