Stumbling into an art gallery

Last week I found two men in the Stellenbosch University Museum Art Gallery who were very interested in the Jazz show. “Can’t I sing Queen of the Night opera? How about Afrikaans? Or Original music? … in Namibia?” Yessss… but not all on one night and I am worried about the wine glasses shattering(besides I am afraid of heights for the high Opera notes- I will have to get a stunt double …) The music I sing best is a soft landing on your ear: almost like soft velvet or dark chocolate, it has been said/I have been told.

I have been studying The Great Songwriters of Songs which became jazz standards on my song-list. Masters who were responsible of shaping 100 years of music that made me laugh and cry. It has been such a life changing experience: learning how the masters lived the music and become stories nestled into more stories. I would like to share a little of what I learned…

“Summertime” – the song covered 250 0001 times-was written for an opera called Porgy and Bess(The novel ‘Porgy’ was authored by Dubose Heyward- about a homeless man taking in a woman who were fleeing from her boyfriend who made her addicted to drugs), composed by George Gershwin- a Jewish Russian immigrant living in America. It was 1934 and the first Theatre production of that time with an all black cast moving social boundaries. It was written to mimic folk songs of the time.

George was so brilliant that when he applied to study under masters like Raven in Paris he was refused: “Why be a half-good Raven when you can be a first Class George? You should be teaching me!” Besides they did not want classical music muddle his natural jazz style. His songs became the example others used to create their own music to e.g. chord structures and progressions.
When he fell ill with a brain tumor they phoned the White House to fetch the best retired brain surgeon off his boat on the ocean to fly in for the surgery but he was too late. George was only 38 when he died. In 1985 his ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ was played by 84 male pianists on 84 grand pianos simultaneously at the colosseum.

What a legacy!

Point is: be your own kind of George. You never know how far your legacy of what you do best, will outlive you!

So Jazz?- It is not a stiff affair- you can relax, put your feet up or sit on the cobbles outside. If I wanted it to be formal I would have picked a place with ushers and soft seats. This time it is a courtyard where you can see the trees and hear the birds chirp in the background. And that is what a Friday should feel and sound like… and tonight is the last jazz opportunity.

Sr. Marthie Nel Hauptfleisch
Singer-Songwriter, Professional Nurse, Inspirational Speaker
“Find Your Purpose And Run With It”
[email protected]
083 767 2701
Womanonfire_1 instagram
>LAST CHANCE: When a Friday like this needs Jazz like that…Join us for an hour of #JazzFridays in November featuring Marthie Nel Hauptfleisch & Winston Siljeur band. 5-6pm, Tonight 22 Nov., 52 Ryneveld str(Ou Bloemhof), Stellenbosch. Bring your own wine. Book Early Bird R120/Groups R100/Student/Seniors Tickets R75.
>Footcare as usual. On leave 20 Dec- 12 Jan.
>The SheepSong is ready with a grand front-cover design(Thank you Marthinusss): check it out and request it on your local radio station. They really need the help and word of mouth support #SaveTheSheep.
>In the picture is me with the HUGE banners I had made: thank you to SilkScreen in helping me put it together and the staff of US museum to put it up every week. Because good stuff should not stay a secret…
>Keep the date: 14 Dec, Wellington: Afrikaans #Sonder Grense with Bram Potgieter
>Song of the week is ‘Bringing you sunshine’ -Marthie Nel Hauptfleisch-Woman On Fire
This is a song I was commissioned to write for a disabled school choir of Mpumalanga. Maybe I should call it the ‘George-song’: you do you- so do it, do it well… It is still in bicycle format but as one mystro said: never be ashamed of a tune that somebody can whistle and hum afterwards.

I am bringing you sunshine
On top of the World
On top of your smile
Because God’s been good to me

He made the itty-bitty little worm(Doo-waa)
He made the trees that you can see (Doo-waa)
He made the cats and the dogs
And all of that
And He made you and me.

I’m bringing you sunshine
On top of the World
On top of your smile
Because God’s been good to me

So why do you keep complaining
About the things you do not have
So why can’t you stop your worries
About the things cannot do

Oh I’m bringing you sunshine…

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