Darryl Andrews: A man of many musical parts – and now a fisherman

Conductor Darryl Andrews puts his students through their paces at a UCT Big Band performance at The Baxter in 2012. Courtesy You See TV.

10 August 2019

Guitarist-composer-arranger-conductor Darryl Andrews played his last gig with his UCT School of Music Big Band outfit last week and will finally cut ties with the School of Music in about three months.

It brings to an end decades of captivating Cape Town audiences with the innovative sound of his youthful students performing under his direction.

As always, the last gig of the UCT Big Band (under Daryl’s leadership) was at the Baxter Theatre and despite it being a miserably cold and wet July night, there was still a good turnout.

“We did a variety of tunes for the crowd – a bit of Whitney Houston, classic jazz, some of my old tunes, Boz Scaggs, Benson, Harry Connick,” Darryl said.

“It was quite an emotional night; I have been doing two or three concerts a year with my students since 1991. It has become something of an institution in Cape Town.”

Darryl’s time as professor of jazz studies at the School of Music has seen some of the best of Cape Town’s young talent pass through his hands.

“There have been some really gifted kids who learnt their craft at the jazz school and I am proud to say they have gone on to bigger and better things. At the moment some of my ex-students are playing with top musicians in Atlanta and in New York.”

Now it all comes to end for the man who started out working as a fitter and turner while doing club gigs with local bands and then went on to gain a BA and Master in music. At age 65 (in November), he has to retire from his post at UCT.

But all is not lost. Followers of Darryl’s music will still be able to hear and see him play for as long as his ability will allow him.

“I will still have my own Darryl Andrews Jazz Orchestra that will be available for gigs and I will also be heading into the studio to record my next CD due for release later this year.”

As with his first CD, titled Cape Town and released last year, Darryl plans to feature a mix of his own compositions and some of the material of local artists.

The Darryl Andrews Jazz Orchestra’s first CD, Cape Town, released in December 2017.

Those music objectives could take a backseat though to Darryl’s other passion – fishing!! He is in the process of buying a boat . . . a big boat.

“I’ve got my skippers licence now; I have qualified as a skipper. I am buying a boat – a seven-and-a-half metre fishing boat.

“Fishing has always been a passion of mine. I have been fishing on the beach for years. Now I want to do the real thing.

“I have an E-licence which means I can go out one nautical mile. When I get my boat, an instructor will take me out, log my hours, and when I get to 25 hours, I get an extension to 25 nautical miles out. When I get to 50 hours, I am allowed 40 nautical miles out.

“I’ll see if I can make money selling fish!” I’ll probably sell to fish shops and restaurants. I’ll be getting the craft soon and it will be fully equipped with fish finder, sonar and safety equipment.

“I have an NSRI app on my phone just in case something goes wrong. I’ll do all the right things by lodging my details with them every time I put to sea and if something goers wrong I hit the app.

“It’s not all new to me; my nephew had a boat and I used to go out with him. My love for fishing started when I moved into Plumstead. My neighbours taught me and I got right into it . We used to sit for hours down at Strandfontein.”

He could start a new line of selling . . . one CD with every snoek. And maybe a discount ticket to his next performance with the Darryl Andrews Jazz Orchestra.

Related Content:

Darryl Andrews conducting UCT Big Band at Baxter 2012: You See TV

Darryl Andrews: A musician in tune with what he wanted in life

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