Mario Batkovic returns to South Africa after 13 years to collaborate with local musicians and perform in Cape Town, in Johannesburg at the Market Theatre, and at the MTN Bushfire Festival in Swaziland.
Batkovic is a Swiss solo accordion player who was born in Bosnia. A fully established artist in Switzerland, he has worked with various musicians as a producer, as well as being involved in many bands and projects. Batkovic was awarded the Artist Recognition Award from the Capital in Canton Bern, where he has his own studio and runs his own record label. He is also highly regarded as a film score composer, with many of the projects he has worked on being nominated for and winning various awards.
Batkovic studied under Prof. Elspeth Moser at the renowned HochschulefürMusik and Theatre in Hannover, Germany, and went on to graduate as a Master of Arts in Chamber Music Improvisation in the MusikAkademie of Basel, Switzerland. He was always in opposition. At the music school he missed the anarchic side of playing in bands, and when playing in bands he missed the classical perfectionism of the HochschulefürMusik.
His playing has been descrbed as challenging and experimental, yet maintaining a masterfully beautiful quality. He scratches every nuance out of the instrument, integrating scratches and clicks into the arrangements and making a feature of the kind of tonal scars and birthmarks which are usually eradicated from recordings and live performances.
At times the playing sounds like low end distorted feedback, at other times like an obscure analogue synthesiser. But the common thread running throughout is the quality in the writing and arrangement.
18 May: Alma Café, Cape Town, 19H00: R170 per ticket
19 May: Slow Life Jazz at the Olympia Bakery, Cape Town, 19:00: R150 per ticket
20 May: Jazz in the Native Yards, Kwa Sec NY 138 No52 Gugulethu, 15H00: R70 per ticket
24 May: The Market Theatre, Johannesburg, 20H00: R90 and R70 (pensioners, students) per ticket
25 May: MTN Bushfire Festival, Swaziland, 18H15 and 23H00: R230 per ticket