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Terugblik BBC Proms 2022

Foto’s: BBC/ Mark Allan

Afgelopen zondag speelde het Metropole Orkest voor de zevende keer tijdens de prestigieuze concertserie BBC Proms. Want zoals de BBC zelf verwoordde op hun website: “if there’s one group that’s absolutely guaranteed to set the Proms on fire, it’s Metropole Orkest”.

Op 28 augustus verzorgde het orkest een avondvullend programma met ‘The South African Jazz Songbook’, onder leiding van de Zuid-Afrikaanse trompettist en dirigent Marcus Wyatt. Met muziek van onder andere Dudu Pukwana, Abdullah Ibrahim, Johnny Dyani, Winston Mankunku, Bheki Mseleku, Hugh Masekela en Jonas Gwangwa krijgt het publiek deze avond een mooie doorsnede van de Zuid-Afrikaanse jazzscene. Solisten deze avond zijn zanger Siyabonga Mthembu, saxofonist Soweto Kinch, zangeres ESKA en tuba speler Theon Cross.

Het volledige concert is tot een jaar na uitzending terug te luisteren bij BBC Sounds.


Dick Hovenga – / Jazzism

Machtig Metropole Orkest verovert Royal Albert Hall opnieuw

Zondag 28 augustus 2022 mag wederom de boeken in als een zeer bijzondere BBC Proms en wederom een hoogtepunt in het bestaan van het Metropole Orkest. Hulde ook aan Marcus Wyatt die dit project jarenlang heeft doorgezet om dit uiteindelijk in de Londense Royal Albert Hall (toch echt hét mekka van muziekland) te zien gloriëren.

Sebastian Scotney –

Prom 56: The South African Jazz Songbook

…to arrive on the stage of the Royal Albert Hall last night with the Metropole Orkest was an immense achievement in itself, to which one has to add Wyatt’s contribution as composer and lead arranger, and on top of those, his roles on the night as conductor and compere of a highly complex programme. He deserves all the praise he can get.

…The unanimity of those strings who have put in their thousands of hours working in the same section together, the way they groove so effortlessly, is an experience in itself. And the guest soloists all made great contributions. 

It was also fascinating to watch the physical effect of the music on the audience in a well-filled arena, as the people bobbed, swayed and danced. A special occasion.

Noah Sparks – Jazzwise

Soweto Kinch and Theon Cross fire up BBC Proms’ South African Songbook

For the most part, this first half can be assessed as a big-band interpretation of South Africa’s jazz classics. Interestingly, Wyatt’s arrangements – with their inclusion of the string section – are arguably closer to the jazz orchestra stylings of Paul Whiteman than of Duke Ellington. Given the terrific soloing, and bombastic energy of the players, it makes for a great listen.

There is a keen awareness of the dual purposes of South Africa’s jazz; a sense that beneath the danceable, ebullient surface there is a rebellious political subtext. Additionally, the driving, infectious energy of the works is palpable and perhaps even expanded through the orchestra’s mass of players.

Clive Davis – The Times

2/5 stars The South African Jazz Songbook review

On Wyatt’s climactic piece, Annake Tassou, the tuba player Theon Cross delivered an exuberant solo that added a quotation from Abdullah Ibrahim’s joyous instrumental ‘African Marketplace’. Elsewhere, Kinch’s playing was as aggressive as ever. Mthembu’s voice, deep and sonorous, possessed undeniable character, but he was only an intermittent presence alongside the singer and actress knows as Eska.



1A. Tete & Barbs in my Mind (Dudu Pukwana) – arr/orch Marcus Wyatt (feat. Siyabonga Mthembu)
1B. Mra (Christopher Columbus/Dudu Pukwana) – arr Chris McGregor/Marcus Wyatt orch Marcus Wyatt
(solos: Robinson Khoury, trombone – Hans Vroomans, piano)

2. Angel Nemali (Dudu Pukwana) – arr Marcus Wyatt
(solos: Soweto Kinch, alto sax – Peter Tiehuis, guitar – Rik Mol, trumpet)

3.  Bombella (Abdullah Ibrahim) – arr/orch Mike Campbell
(solos:Hans Vroomans, piano – Leo Janssen, tenor sax – Peter Tiehuis, guitar)

4. The Click Song (Qongqothwane) (Miriam Makeba) arr/orch Marcus Wyatt
Feat. Eska, vocals – Theon Cross, tuba

5. Age of Inner Knowing (Bheki Mseleku) – arr Afrika Mkhize (Orch Vise Mkizwana or Mike Campbell)
(solos: Hans Vroomans, piano – Sjoerd Dijkhuizen, tenor sax)

6. Lakutshoni Ilanga (Mackay Davashe/Alan Salinga) – arr Louis Moholo/Marcus Wyatt orch Marcus Wyatt (feat Siyabonga Mthembu / ESKA; Theon Cross)
(solos: most of the band + Joke Schonewille, harp & Theon Cross free solo!)

7. Bantu (Zim Ngqwana) – arr Marcus Wyatt / orch Mike Campbell (feat. Soweto Kinch)
(solos: Soweto Kinch, alto sax – Hans Vroomans, piano)


8. Connected (comp/arr Marcus Wyatt)
feat. ESKA
(solo: Hans Vroomans, piano)

9. Stimela (Hugh Masekela) – arr/orch David Cousins feat. Siyabonga Mthembu & ESKA

10. Yakhal’ Inkomo (Winston Mankunku) – arr Afrika Mkhize / orch Vise Mkizwana
(solos: Soweto Kinch, tenor sax  – Toni Vitacolonna, drums – Robinson Khoury, trombone – Nico Schepers, trumpet)

11. Diphororo (Jonas Gwangwa) – arr Jonas Gwangwa/Marcus Wyatt / orch Melissa Van Der Spuy feat Siyabonga Mthembu
(solo: Robinson Khoury, trombone)

12. Annake Tassou (Marcus Wyatt) – arr Marcus Wyatt / orch Mike Campbell
feat Siyabonga Mthembu; ESKA & Theon Cross
(solos: Toni Vitacolonna, drums – Theon Cross, tuba)

Encore :
13. Dear Africa (Mongezi Feza/Johnny Dyani) – arr/orch Marcus Wyatt
feat. all soloists
(intro Eric van der Westen, double bass – Theon Cross, tuba)