Leslie Kleinsmith: now you see him, now you don’t

Leslie Kleinsmith . . . a whirlwind visit to Cape Town. One performance at Artscape on Friday and then he flies out on Sunday back to Europe.

26 April 2018 

Leslie Kleinsmith is back in town and the good news is, he is here to perform.

But blink – and you’ll miss him.   The gig is at Artscape on Friday night and by Sunday he’ll be back on a plane and heading for his regular work, which is performing on cruise liners for those lucky folk who can afford to drift around the Mediterranean.

Leslie is in Cape Town to be part of the Kaapse Khoi Jazz II being presented at Artscape on 27 April as part of the Freedom Day celebrations.

The show also features Allou April, Alvin Dyers, China van Rensburg and Amanda Lois Stone. The classy Camillo Lombard is the musical director.

This is the first time Leslie is performing in Cape Town since Remembering The Lux finished its run two years ago. For the last few years he has lived in France with wife Isabelle and has been a frontline entertainer on the luxury cruise ships.

The Freedom Day gig happened by chance for Leslie, who had been in his hometown about 10 days ago. He was here to fix up documentation for further employment on the ships.

“As it happened, Terry Fortune and I went to a show at Grand West and Camillo spotted us in the audience,” Leslie said.

“One thing led to another and the next thing I was on the Artscape show. The only problem was, I had to go back to France first to sort out some things.”

Leslie left Cape Town about 10 days ago and when I got hold of him on Tuesday, he was in Paris, waiting to get a flight back to Cape Town. He got in Cape Town on Wednesday night, rehearsals on Thursday, show on Friday, and he flies back to Paris on Sunday.

“It’s a bit hectic, ain’t it?” he said. “I’ll be home in France for a few days and then I’ll be back on the boats.”

Leslie says that he has to start thinking about getting more gigs in Cape Town because, come November, he’ll be moving back to Cape Town for longer periods.

“My wife and I bought a place in Cape Town last year, so we are going to be based there for a while.

“It is all still being sorted out. But I am optimistic; whenever I am in Cape Town, the phone tends to ring and gigs start appearing. And I will start thinking about generating work myself.”

Leslie will feature a number of songs from his last CD, All Wound Up. The CD features some of Leslie’s own compositions, and some by Alvin Dyers and the late Al Etto. He will have copies of it available for sale on Friday.

It has been a while since Leslie last recorded. Now he is thinking of his next studio effort.

“I have always had, in the back of my mind, the idea of doing an album of cool jazz standards with a tight trio. Sometimes the trio becomes a quartet and then strings and the like. It will happen.”

In the meantime, those of you who have warmed to Leslie’s sound for the past 40-odd years, catch his show tomorrow night at Artscape. He’ll be gone on Sunday!

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  1. And we are all excited to go and see the show. Big fan of all of the musicians performing. And our very own Mr “Foster” “Hot stuff” Lombard on keyboards. Fan club attending.


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