Fresh off his nine-week sold-out tour of Germany, local crooner Ike Moriz is busy putting the finishing touches on his new show.
Ike has rounded up some of Cape Town’s finest musicians to join him for an evening of Swing favourites when he presents Love Swings at The Rockwell Theatre on Saturday.
He’ll be joined by Amanda Tiffin (piano), Marc de Kock (sax), Kevin Gibson (drums), David Ledbetter (guitar) and Sean Sanby (double bass) who’ll also be playing some of Ike’s own compositions from his 17-album repertoire.
Originally from Germany, Ike has been living in South Africa since the early 1990s when he was playing indie rock. His musical studies in Germany, Holland and South Africa, coupled with his performance experience in London, means that Ike’s influences range from rock and blues to Latin and more easy listening sounds. Lately, however, he says he’s been playing a lot of jazz. “I think most people now know me for the swing and jazz.”
It was a pop album that put him on the map though. Ike was living in London, soon after finishing his studies, when he met George Michael’s producer Steve Kent, with whom he recorded the single “Fall into the Sun”. “It was played in 17 countries,” Ike says, adding: “That was a great start.”
While Love Swings will include songs from Ike’s album with the same name, his latest album, Debonaire, released earlier this year, is more experimental. “It’s a bit more electronic and poppy,” he explains. “It’s also the old standards, but with a different beat.”
Not one to let the grass grow under his feet, Ike is already working on a new album, Gold Rush, which he describes as a pop/rock record. “The title track is a bit of a James Bond song,” he says jokingly. “It’s a cynical look at what’s going on in the country.” But the album is not just negative, as Ike points out, there are also a lot of positive things happening in South Africa.
Like many of his other albums, Ike is recording at Paris Studios in Fish Hoek and he hopes to launch it early next year.
While a lot of his releases are thematically the same, Ike always tries to add a different flavour to his music and often jumps between genres. “I’m always excited to try out new things.”
“There are so many different ways of communicating with music that are interesting and I’ve always been fascinated with stuff that’s a little bit edgy.”
For his show on Saturday, Ike says music fans can look forward to songs by Frank Sinatra and Michael Bublé, along with some of his own songs that fans know. “We’re going to throw in a little bit of blues as well, just to make it interesting.” He’s also played around with standards. He’s turned “Mack the Knife”, for example, into a Latin version.
After this weekend, Ike plans to take the show to other theatres and tour the north of the country. “I think I’ve got a bit more to offer than just the usual jazz standards because a lot of my stuff is original – but it still sounds like the standards.”
Ike says he’s excited for the opportunity to perform with a big band as he doesn’t often get the chance. “It’s an incredible band – they are super tight.”
“This show works for anybody,” Ike says, adding: “Just sit back and let the music take you somewhere else.”