Jazz pianist Bokani Dyer, the 2011 Standard Bank Young Artist Award winner for Jazz, comes from a strong musical family and is building on his musical heritage with unique flair, inspired by "the energy behind the music". Two weeks ago the jazz pianist won a SAMRO Overseas Scholarship during the final round of the SAMRO competition.
In Durban Bokani's band consists of Sphelelo Mazibuko on drums and Prince Bulo on bass guitar.
Dyer graduated from the South African College of Music, University of Cape Town, with a Bachelor of Music (Hons) first class in June 2008. During his studies in 2006, he was chosen by Andre Peterson for a youth band that took part in a summer school in Sogne, Norway. He was also part of the Standard Band National Youth Jazz band in Grahamstown, which played at the Johannesburg International Jazz festival, the Cape Town International Jazz Festival and toured Sweden. He played for the University of Cape Town Big Band and also played at the Arts Alive concert with Steve Dyer, Dorothy Masuku, Thandiswa Mazwai and Siya Makhuzeni.
"I've always had a love for music, but developed a liking for jazz from the age of 16 after I had been playing for a few years. I was introduced to jazz by my father, Steve Dyer, who used to play jazz music in the car and at home often. Jazz is a beautiful art form which allows for deep exploration through spontaneous creativity." said Dyer.
Dyer lists Bheki Mseleku, Moses Molelekwa, Andile Yenana, Winston 'Mankunku' Ngozi locally and Robert Glasper, Herbie Hancock, Bobo Stenson internationally as some of his jazz heroes.
"Inspiration is a weird thing. It doesn't always come from likely places, like a conversation or the weather or spending time with children. The energy behind the music is what inspires me. It is the character and feeling behind the sound that really maters." said Dyer.