Brian Abrahams

b. 26 June 1947, Cape Town, South Africa. Abrahams became known first for his ability as a singer. From the age of 13 he sang with local groups, but by the early 70s he was established as a drummer and…
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Artist Biography

b. 26 June 1947, Cape Town, South Africa. Abrahams became known first for his ability as a singer. From the age of 13 he sang with local groups, but by the early 70s he was established as a drummer and percussionist, often backing vocal and dance groups. While working with a trio in Swaziland, Abrahams accompanied the American artists Sarah Vaughan and Nancy Wilson. In 1975, Abrahams moved to London where he played with a number of English bands including Ronnie Scott’s, and with members of the expatriate South African community, especially Dudu Pukwana and Chris McGregor. In the early 80s, Abrahams formed his own band, District Six, named after a sector of Cape Town, which has successfully worked at fusing African folk themes with European influences. The group’s patience and effort paid off, allowing a sophistication and drive rare in a unit that retains its local identity. Abrahams acknowledges the influences of Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, and McGregor and admires the drumming of Art Blakey, Max Roach and Jack DeJohnette. He is also a teacher and runs regular workshops, often in conjunction with District Six.