The Johannesburg Sessions

The Johannesburg Sessions

Mike del Ferro

Label: Challenge Records
Format: CD
Barcode: 0608917340020
Catalog number: CR 73400
Releasedate: 17-04-15
- This is the third album from the 10-part series “Songs inspired by wandering the globe” Mike del Ferro is recording for Challenge Records. Previous albums in these series were 'The Journey' (CR 73321, 2011) and 'Impressions of Brazil' (CR 73379, 2013).
- Mike del Ferro performed in 110 countries so far (and still counting) with musicians like Toots Thielemans, Branford Marsalis, Jack DeJohnette, Randy Brecker,  Deborah Brown, Erik Truffaz

- About the musicians on this album: Del Ferro works again with South-African drummer Kesivan Naidoo, accompanied by bass guitarist and composer Carlo Mombelli and percussionist Thebe Lipere. At their request he also invited Zulu singer Mbuso Khoza. The beloved vocalist in his native country, used to be a sheep shepherd who discovered his vocal skills when he noticed each sheep reacts to a different pitch.
- Del Ferro has very diverse and sincere interests & skills in music and other cultures.  

This is the third album from the 10-part series “Songs inspired by wandering the globe” Mike del Ferro is recording for Challenge Records.
Mike’s choice to record an album with South-African musicians was pretty obvious. He has been a regular visitor of South-Africa for more than 20 years, a period of time in which he has not only established a tight relationship with this country, but also immersed himself in the immensely rich musical tradition. Because of his involvement with the South-African music scene, he is a regular guest at music festivals including Cape Town Jazz, Grahamstown Arts Festival, performing with various renowned South-African musicians.
On this album he collaborated with his regular South-Afrivan drummer Kesivan Naidoo, bass guitarist and composer Carlo Mombelli and percussionist Thebe Lipere. At their request he also invited Zulu singer Mbuso Khoza. The beloved vocalist in his native country, used to be a shepherd who discovered his vocal skills when he noticed each sheep reacts to a different pitch.
The pieces on this album consist of a combination of Mike de Ferro originals mixed with South-African Rhythms and songs originally written for choirs by Zulu composers.
On this album Mbuso Khoza primarily sings in Zulu with the exception of some songs in Xhosa, both part of the eleven official South-African languages. Many rhythms of the Zulu/Xhosa culture originate from traditional healers (Sangomas) who incorporated rhythms in their rituals.
These rhythms are at the heart of the album’s compositions and constitute a seamless bond between the piano, the African musicians and Mbuso’s vocals. The album also offers propulsive instrumental tracks and even a traditional lullaby in which Mbuso’s authentic vocals are even more elevated by Mike del Ferro’s supportive accompaniment.
"Mike del Ferro is a multi talented musician and composer who gives us a tasteful display of his harmony, versatility and melody" -
Toots Thielemans

Mike del Ferro (Amsterdam) has been a highly successful pianist and composer who writes and performs in an impressive array of musical genres.

He has travelled the world extensively (so far 110 countries), searching for collaborations with musicians from cultures quite different to his own, and the musical results have been eye-opening, building musical bridges between cultures not normally within reach of each other. He has managed to combine elements of the revered canons of  Western music interspersed with the audacity of Jazz improvisation, and paying tribute to the ancient structures of Asian, South American and African traditional music.

He has signed an exclusive contract with Challenge Records International for a series of 10 CDs named "songs inspired by wandering the globe", taken from collaborations with musicians all over the world. The first trio CD ("the Journey", recorded with his new trio featuring Dutch bassist Jeroen Vierdag and Belgian drummer Bruno Castellucci) ) was released worldwide in the spring of 2012, and the second album, "Impressions of Brazil" has been released in August 2013, featuring Vocalist / Guitarist Ceumar from Brazil.

Mike's father was opera singer Leonard del Ferro (1921-1992), who sang and recorded with Maria Callas and Leonard Bernstein, and from the very start his childhood was thus filled with music of the highest order.A native of Amsterdam, he started his career studying classical piano at the age of nine and after falling in love with jazz he pursued his studies on Jazz and received a Masters of Music in Contemporary Music at the Amsterdam Conservatory.
In 1989 he won First Prize at the Rotterdam Jazz Piano Competition, the Soloist Prize at the Europe Jazz Contest in Brussels, and First Prize at the Karlovy Vary Jazz contest and from 1993-1996 studied composition and arrangements with Bob Brookmeyer at the Musikhochschule in Cologne, Germany. In 1995 Mike was appointed on the faculty of the Royal Conservatory in Gent, Belgium where he taught jazz piano until 1997. His reputation as a soloist, accompanist, composer and arranger has led to worldwide performances, recordings and tours with musicians such as Toots Thielemans, Branford Marsalis, Jack DeJohnette, Randy Brecker, Oscar Castro Neves, Deborah Brown, Erik Truffaz, Jorge Rossy, Scott Hamilton, Richard Galliano, Thijs van Leer (Focus), Harold Land, Jan Akkerman, Norma Winstone, Benny Bailey, Candy Dulfer, Trijntje Oosterhuis, Badi Assad, Niladri Kumar amongst so many others. To date he has released 15 albums under his own name and he has appeared as a sideman on countless albums in many different genres from Dixieland to Salsa.
Mike del Ferro goes by Mark Twain's dictum - "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime" ...... his music reflects the array of influences that he has picked up in some of the most exotic places around the world.