CD captures Africa’s sounds and rhythyms

hennie-bekker(Canscene) — In Toronto new age singer/musician Hennie Bekker recently launched African Tapestries, comprising five of his best known CD’s, evocative of the Africa in which he grew up. An alternative title could have been To Africa with Love.

Raised in a Zambian copper-mining town ten miles south of the Congolese border (Mufulira), Bekker became entranced early on by such sounds as tribal chanting and drumming, perking up his interest in music. Shortly thereafter, Bekker taught himself how to play the piano, and at the age of 15, began playing with various jazz fusion bands in Zambia, Zaire, Zimbabwe, and Kenya.

From there, Bekker began scoring for film, television, radio, and commercials; before eventually moving to London, England, where he teamed up with producer Emil Zoghby and started arranging, conducting, and producing albums for the likes of Freddie Cole, Magna Carta, and Stanley Black. By 1987, Bekker had relocated once more, this time to Canada, where he focused on commercial work (contributing musical bits to stock-music companies.

Eventually, Bekker gravitated toward the meditative sounds of new age, where he added soothing melodies to nature sounds compiled by Dan Gibson, which led to the duo collaborating on a total of 14 Exploring Nature With Music releases and to further Bekker musical contributions for the Kaleidoscope and Tranquility series. In addition, Bekker launched another album series, African Tapestries, which is now presented in the single 5-disc album.

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