Ralston van der Schyff

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Reviews

hiStory

South African-born pianist, Ralston van der Schyff's reputation for sophistication and uniqueness has been echoed by many audiences who have seen and heard him perform. His style of playing produces just the right sound that is easy on the ear, a sound emboldened with rich, sometimes unconventional harmony, and subtle nuances of melodies and patterns, transforming each song into an inspiring musical journey..

Theatrical Productions

Jazz Cabaret

The First Lady of Song

Towards the end of 2003, Ralston teamed up with drummer Herschel Mair, bassist Graham Jacobs and vocalist, Zolani Mahola (lead vocalist in the band FreshlyGround), with Geoffrey Going as sound engineer. Together they produced the jazz cabaret "The First Lady of Song - A Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald", having sold-out performances at venues that included On Broadway Theatre in Table View, Evita Se Peron in Darling and the showcase Vodacom Sounds Of Summer at the V&A Waterfront. The show received rave reviews from various press houses.

Hooked On Swing

The year 2004 saw him team up with vocalist, promoter and producer Charl van Heyningen, vocalist Sarah Theron, Herschel Mair and Graham Jacobs again, where they did a once-off performance at the Woordfees in Stellenbosch. Vocalist Beverly Rinkwest took over from Sarah, where the show continued receiving rave reviews for their performances at venues in South Africa such as On Broadway Theatre in Greenpoint and the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees in Oudtshoorn.

Later that year, Herschel left the show to take up residence in the US. He was replaced by drummer Keith Bauwer-Schmidt, and the show continued to make appearances at the Gariepfees in Kimberly, the Barnyard Theatre in Plettenberg Bay, Macufe Festival (DownStage Theatre) in Bloemfontein and the Windhoek Arts Festival (Warehouse Theatre) in neighboring country, Namibia.

In 2005, the show made another appearance at the Slaley Jazz Festival (Barnyard Theatre) in Franschoek, South Africa. Later that year, he went on to tour China.

In February 2011, Ralston returned to South Africa and the band got together again to perform the show at the West Coast Classical Music Festival in Darling.

Classical

Romanza & Per Amore

Ralston also worked as piano accompanist for vocalist, promoter and producer, Charl van Heyningen in the operatic productions "Romanza" & "Per Amora". They performed at some quaint venues in and around the city; these intimate concerts were his favourite.

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Cabaret

Woman In The Moon

The beginning of 2005 saw Ralston as musical director and pianist for the cabaret production "Woman in the Moon", directed by Glenn Swart and starring Ilse Klink from South Africa's television series "Isidingo", for which the show received rave reviews. The venue was On Broadway Theatre in Greenpoint, and on drums was Roy Davids and bass Jan Hough. Bassist Eldred Schilder also made a one night appearance in the show. Sound engineer, Geoffrey Going made the production sound even greater!

Rhinestone Cowgirl

In July 2005, he performed as piano accompanist for UK cabaret artist, Christopher Green in the cabaret production "Tina C's Rhinestone Cowgirl" at On Broadway Theatre in Shortmarket Street, Cape Town. Let's just say this show was not for sensitive audiences. Sound engineer, Geoffrey Going was again on sound.

Rock

Drift Away

In 2004, he worked with vocalists Charl van Heyningen and Beverly Rinkwest, bassist Graham Jacobs again, guitarist James Kibby and drummer Roy Davids in the rock show "Drift Away" at the festivals Woordfees in Stellenbosch, and a year later in April 2005 at the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees in Oudtshoorn. Some strange things happened on this tour; first time ever the band couldn't see each other on stage, because the smoke-machine was out of control!

Get Back

Still in 2004, he teamed up with Graham Burton on vocals, bassist Rob Stemmett, guitarist Andy Murray and once again drummer Herschel Mair in the rock show "Get Back" performing at a few corporate events.

Showcases & Special Events

Festivals

  • JZ Jazz Festival - Wuhan, China
  • West Coast Classical Music Festival - Darling, South Africa
  • Shanghai International Music Festival - Shanghai, China
  • Slaley Jazz Festival - Franschoek, South Africa
  • Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees - Oudtshoorn, South Africa
  • Woordfees - Stellenbosch, South Africa
  • Macufe Festival - Bloemfontein, South Africa
  • Voorkamer Festival - Darling, South Africa
  • Gariepfees - Kimberly, South Africa
  • Windhoek Arts Festival, Warehouse Theatre - Windhoek, Namibia

Solo Concerts

  • Nelson Mandela Memorial Service, South African Consulate - Shanghai, China
  • Nanjing University of Science & Technology - Nanjing, China
  • Yezi Music Arts Collaboration, Poly Grand Theatre - Nanjing, China
  • Shanghai Normal University - Shanghai, China

Showcases

  • Vodacom Sounds of Summer, V&A Waterfront Amphitheatre - Cape Town, South Africa
  • Cape Town Jazzathon, V&A Waterfront Amphitheatre - Cape Town, South Africa
  • Johnny Walker Jazz Impressions Showcase, The Green Dolphin - Cape Town, China

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Special Events

  • NIC Christmas Gala, Shangri-la Hotel - Nanjing, China
  • Blues Christmas Gala, Crown Plaza Hotel - Nanjing, China
  • Bayer Celebratory Gala - Shanghai, China
  • International Gold Mining Gala - Qingdao, China
  • Bling Bling Shining Night Appreciation Dinner, The Hilton - Guangzhou, China
  • Slow Food Fund-Raising Event, The Hilton - Shanghai, China
  • China Wine Challenge Awards, The Hilton - Shanghai, China
  • Akzonobel Awards Ceremony, Le Royal Meridien - Shanghai, China
  • Peter Buffet Celebrity Dinner, The Hilton - Shanghai, China
  • ATP Tennis Masters Cup, Qizhong Tennis Center - Shanghai, China
  • Shanghai Musical Instrument Exhibition - Shanghai, China
  • Memorial Service for South African Consular staff - Shanghai, China
  • Freedom Day Gala, South African Consulate - Shanghai, China
  • Diamonds Are Forever Gala, The Longemont - Shanghai, China

Performance Venues

Shanghai, China

  • 1515 West Bar, Jing’An Shangri-la
  • Jazz Lounge, Shangri-la Jing’An
  • River Wing Lounge, Pudong Shangri-la
  • Long Bar, Waldorf Astoria
  • Jazz Lounge, The Portman-Ritz
  • JZ Club
  • Shanghai Normal University
  • Penthouse Bar, The Hilton
  • Jazz Lounge, The Hilton

Nanjing, China

  • Nanjing University Of Science & Technology Concert Hall
  • Poly Grand Theatre
  • Myth Jazz Bar

Guangzhou, China

  • T-Lounge, The Hilton

Shenzhen, China

  • Duke's Jazz Bar, The Langham

Suzhou, China

  • Mariana Lounge, Crowne Plaza

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Cape Town, South Africa

  • The Mount Nelson
  • The Arabella Sheraton
  • The Cullinan
  • The Peninsular All-Suite
  • The Green Dolphin
  • Kennedys Cigar Bar
  • V&A Waterfront Amphitheatre
  • On Broadway Theatre
  • Baxter Theatre
  • The Crypt

Bloemfontein, South Africa

  • Downstage Theatre

Plettenberg Bay, South Africa

  • Barnyard Theatre

Franschoek, South Africa

  • Barnyard Theatre

Darling, South Africa

  • Evita Se Peron Theatre

Windhoek, Namibia

  • Warehouse Theatre

Ensembles

Cape Town, South Africa

  • The Blue Monks with Herschel Mair, Deon Morris & Paul Salvage
  • Octave with Edgar Syce & Carl X
  • The Hanepoot Big Band lead by Jannie van Tonder
  • The Zoot Suits with Graham Burton, Herschel Mair, Rob Stemmett & Andy Murray
  • The Glenn Robertson Jazz Band with Glenn Robertson, Andre Henry, Fabian Frantz, Didier Richards & special guest appearance by the legendary, late Zayn Adam

Nanjing, China

  • The Keepers Of Swing with various artists Ronnie Williams, Al Gordon, Kokoh & Lionel Beukes
  • Four Generations with Helene Joseph, David Parker & Lionel Beukes
  • Midnight Blue with Lionel Beukes

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Shanghai, China

  • Passport with Eldred Schilder & Beverly Rinkwest
  • Three's Company with various artists Tracy Town, Lezil Hendricks, Wilson Chen & Lionel Beukes
  • Long Bar Jazz Trio with Frank Bray & the late Donald Jackson
  • 1515 West Band with various artists - Frank Bray, Cherry Brown, Monique Hellenberg & Lionel Beukes

Guangzhou, China

  • Sapphire with Davinia Vincent

Portfolio

PR-Magazine Portrait Shoot

Shanghai, China

PR-Magazine Portrait Shoot

Shanghai, China

PR-Magazine Portrait Shoot

Shanghai, China

PR-Magazine Portrait Shoot

Shanghai, China

PR-Magazine Portrait Shoot

Shanghai, China

PR-Magazine Portrait Shoot

Shanghai, China

PR-Magazine Portrait Shoot

Shanghai, China

Audio Creations

Red Lanterns

Jazz

A Cape Christmas Carol

Christmas

Rudolph Is Uit Asem

Christmas