Rodriguez tribute show

From left are Rudi du Toit, Dave Berman, James Kibby and Roy Kassel.

Four musicians will pay tribute to American musician Rodriguez on Saturday February 17 at Ellington’s Saloon, in Bellville, at 9pm.

Rodriguez died in August at the age of 81, but jazz musician James Kibby, 62, of Sea Point, vocalist and keyboard player Roy Kassel, 60, of Milnerton, and the Flip Squad blues band duo of Dave Berman, 65, of Sea Point, and Rudi du Toit, 39, of Green Point, will be keeping the legend’s music alive with their show, Rodriguez: The Man, The Music.

Rodriguez’s signature song, Sugar Man, was released on his debut studio album, Cold Fact, in 1970. However, while he had limited success in his home country, his music proved very popular in South Africa, and he performed here several times from the late 1990s.

A 2012 documentary, Searching for Sugar Man, told the story of two South African fans who set out to discover what had become of the musician. The film’s success (it won an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2013) saw Rodriguez enjoy a surge in worldwide popularity.

Kibby has released two albums, Live at Carnival Court and A2B, with the group Acid Blues and a solo album, Nowhere2hide – The James Kibby Project. He says Rodriguez changed the lives of many kids in the 70s.

Cold Fact was the go-to album for some comfort and escape in the tumultuous and heavily authoritarian place that was South Africa at the time.”

Kassel has been a keyboard player and vocalist since 1986. He has performed with Tuxedo, Impromptu and The Fancy Galada bands and has done gigs in the Seychelles, Monaco and on cruise ships all over the world.

Berman has been a professional musician for over 30 years, many as a solo artist. In 2015 he was part of a three-piece band that made it to the semi-finals of South Africa’s Got Talent and performed on live television.

He met Du Toit two years ago and they formed Flip Squad. “Rodriguez was the reason I became a musician so when approached I was excited to become part of this tribute show,” he says.

Tickets cost R80 through Quicket and at the door.