South African saxophonist, composer and MC, Rus Nerwich pursues his life’s work with deep sincerity and passion. Exploring genres including jazz, world music and neo-soul, Nerwich is recognised as a musician who searches for new ways to engage the listener, an artist whose ‘success lies in his wealth of talent and incredibly inquisitive nature.’
Constantly working to evolve and grow, Nerwich is currently recording a new album, which will be released at the end of 2016. Fusing diverse mediums and styles, the album is informed by both contemporary culture and a deep reverence for musical history and tradition. In the build up to the album release, Nerwich kicks off his European and Canadian tour with a series of live performances in Johannesburg and Cape Town in April 2016.
Committed to using sound and music to inspire, uplift and ultimately communicate, Nerwich has represented South African music in a host of countries, including France, Argentina, Israel, Czech Republic and Canada. He has developed a unique musical approach and sound, both reflected in his recorded work and live performances.
His first album, As Above, So Below was well received by listeners and critics and featured original compositions based on Yiddish folk songs and haunting Synagogue chants. Delving deeper into his Jewish heritage, Nerwich spent the following year researching and preparing for the recording of his second album Beyond the Walls, a monumental project, which explored music originating in the Ghettos of Nazi Germany.
With a strong conceptual premise, and a powerfully delivered performance, Beyond the Walls established Nerwich as an important figure in South African music. He was featured as a headline artist, performing Beyond the Walls at the Cape Town
International Jazz Festival and Grahamstown Jazz Festival; critics and listeners all recognize the significance of this important work.
In 2006, Nerwich began recording his third album Mantras4ModernMan, an eclectic fusion of world music and jazz. This was soon followed by Under the Poetree, a soul inspired electronic, hip hop project which was nominated for a SAMA in the best urban pop category.
Under the Poetree featured some of South Africa’s upcoming MCs alongside a host of celebrated jazz musicians, consolidating Nerwich as an exceptional and innovative artist. In continuation of his quest for creating rich and textured sound, The Wondering Who was released in 2014 and delighted audiences with its captivating selection of rhythmic soundscapes and expansive improvisation.
Nerwich brings a refreshing and inspiring energy to the South African music scene and has contributed greatly to a wide and varying array of musical projects and performs across a wide spectrum of styles. These include his work with DJs, Balkan band Kolonova, traditional African Marimba ensembles, and Cumbia band Kaos. He also composed the music for the theatre production Jutro and recently published his first children’s book One Fine Day Love Came to Visit.
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