Performance Saturday, October 25, 2014 | 9 PM

David Kramer Band
Young Cape Malay Stars

Zankel Hall
The fascinating folk music from the Cape region of South Africa is explored by two groups in this concert. Composer, guitarist, singer-songwriter, and tireless champion of Cape musical traditions, David Kramer performs with a lineup of top musicians from Cape Town. New York audiences also have a rare opportunity to hear a Cape Malay choir—the Young Cape Malay Stars, a 15-voice male choir led by Moeniel Jacobs. They perform music from Cape Town that combines Dutch folk songs and Afrikaans comic songs with colorful inflections and ornaments from vocal traditions as far afield as Malaysia, Arabia, and East Africa.

Part of Late Nights at Zankel Hall.


  • David Kramer Band
  • Young Cape Malay Stars
    Moeniel Jacobs, Music Director

Event Duration

The program will last approximately two and one-half hours, including one 20-minute intermission.


  • David Kramer, Music Director
    David Kramer Band

    For 40 years, David Kramer's interest and passion has been to explore a South African identity in the songs and musicals that he has written and directed. He has made a remarkable contribution to South Africa's cultural life as a thoughtful and ever-experimenting cultural practitioner, versatile artist, songwriter, musician, playwright, director, and environmental activist. Through his songwriting and theatrical projects, he continues to elucidate social issues from a cultural perspective and enrich South Africa's music heritage by showcasing marginalized and endangered musical practices and traditions.

    In a similar way to the Lomax family in the US, he has traveled widely in remote regions of Southern Africa to find musicians who played a long-forgotten music and showcased them on stage. He produced an award-winning documentary about this experience called Karoo Kitaar Blues.

    Together with his creative partner, the late Taliep Petersen, he created a body of musical theater, one of which-Kat and the Kings-was seen at the Cort Theatre on Broadway in 1999, after having won a Laurence Olivier Award on the West End in London. His current project is a new musical, which tells the story of Orpheus McAdoo and the Virginia Jubilee Singers who toured South Africa in the 1890s. Orpheus in Africa will premiere at the Fugard Theatre in Cape Town in February 2015.

    More Info

  • Moeniel Jacobs, Music Director
    Young Cape Malay Stars

    Born on the Cape Flats in 1977, Moeniel Jacobs grew up in an impoverished neighborhood until he and his family moved into an urban renewal project developed by the Apartheid government as a means of removing District Six residents. His upbringing was filled with music, due largely to his father, who was the lead singer in a local band and also a lead singer in his Cape Malay choir. Jacobs's love for his culture only developed further as soon as he reached his teens, mimicking his father during rehearsals and on stage.

    Jacobs's love for his culture took a major blow when his father was brutally murdered during gang warfare. He did not sing again until he was recruited to join a Marines Malay Choir. In 2000, he performed for the first time after his father's passing. His talents were elevated to another level when he started writing and producing his own choral songs as well as teaching these songs to other choirs.

    With no formal music education and unable to read or write a single musical note, Jacobs has successfully led choirs to first-prize wins in competitions. In addition to his choral work, Jacobs is currently a standup comedian, as well as a writer, producer, and photographer. Along with his love for developing and preserving his culture and showcasing it to audiences, he shares his time with his wife and two beautiful children, who are the drive behind his hunger to achieve.

    More Info


David Kramer Band

The Program

Click below to read more about this concert.
Program Notes


David Kramer: Carnegie Hall Teaser 

UBUNTU: Music and Arts of South Africa

Lead funding for UBUNTU: Music and Arts of South Africa is provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Ford Foundation, The Howard Gilman Foundation, and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Additional support is provided by the Mai Family Foundation, South African Tourism, and South African Airways.

UBUNTU is held in collaboration with the Department of Arts and Culture of the Republic of South Africa and the South African Consulate General in New York in celebration of 20 years of freedom and democracy.
This performance is part of Off the Beaten Track, and UBUNTU: Traditional Music.

Part of