Back in 1995 I had the chance to interview south african pianist Abdullah Ibrahim (formerly known as Dollar Brand), on the day before his concert at the Musik der Welt Festival in Basel. Originally my friend Buffo, who worked as a photographer at that time, and me were to talk to Ibrahim in his hotel room, but because the hotel had noted him down as “Ibrahim Abdullah” they did not realize whom we were trying too reach for about thirty minutes. So we arrived at his room door rather late. Ibrahim was nervous, because his wife Bea Benjamin was due to arrive any minute, so he asked us to come to the rehearsal in Radio Studio Basel later in the day.
A few hours later, after a short verbal hustle with the studio’s doorman we finally met Ibrahim, who stopped the rehearsal to talk to us for about an hour, while sitting at the piano. Continue reading