My name is Ralston van der Schyff. I am a South African pianist, composer and songwriter. My reputation for sophistication and uniqueness has been echoed by many audiences who have seen and heard me perform live. My 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.
Duke's Jazz Bar
Jazz pianist and entertainer Ralston van der Schyff is a music genius and is now with us at Duke's.
Ralston van der Schyff se klavierspel in 'Swart Koffee' is onverbeterlik.
Marlize van Taak
Van der Schyff se vingers wat rats oor die klawers hop - dit is die hart van swing.
Ralston is a highly talented pianist and arranger with whom I've had the pleasure of working on a number of occasions.
The trio of musicians, led by Ralston van der Schyff on piano, are a revelation together. They handle all the songs, not only with panache but with an unselfconscious flair that provides the backbone to the evening. Grandstanding entertainment.
Actor, Vocalist & Director
Ralston is a consummate performer and musician. I had the pleasure of working with him on quite a few productions as a Performer and Director. He is a talented and professional artist who always puts his heart and soul into everything he does.
Cape Argus Tonight
Then with the help of keyboardist extraordinaire Ralston van der Schyff, goes on to prove it with 'Song Sung Blue', melding into 'Sweet Caroline' - much to the delight of the audience who sang along lustily on opening night - The aforementioned Van der Schyff is a highlight with the way he lovingly caresses those romantic notes out of the keys.
His skills are wide ranging, not only a great piano player but a well accomplished crooner in the Jazz and Blues styles of music. As an individual he is a true professional and will endeavour to work with you to make sure that the music and quality that is delivered is second to none. His time keeping and his presentation is outstanding with no problems just total reliability. Ralston is definitely an artist I would love to work with again.
Promoter, Producer & Voice Artist
Charl van Heyningen
Ralston has worked with me as musical director and accompanist on various projects since 2003 and I can wholeheartedly recommend him for any production. He is a consummate accompanist that effortlessly switches between musical genres, albeit jazz (virtuoso performer), classical, opera or rock. His easygoing, laid back attitude, punctuality and friendly disposition makes him a pleasure to work with. Ralston cares about his work, is a perfectionist and an asset to any production.
I first took piano lessons from my father at age around 7. I fondly remember those "John Thompson" lesson books. At age 10, I went on to pursue formal classical training at the Battswood College of Music in 1986 through till 1994 with music teacher, Cheryl Wesso; I am so grateful and blessed to have had her teach me. During those 8 years I also enrolled in the Royal Schools of Music examinations through till grade 8, obtaining distinctions in my practical examinations.
In 1995, I started jazz studies with George Werner at the Jazz Workshop, after which I then pursued a business degree. In 2001, I resumed my jazz studies at the Jazz Workshop with legendary jazz pianist and teacher Mertyn Barrow. It was during this same year that my musical career began to take shape and take off.
I compose, record and produce my own music in various genres including jazz, classical, pop, contemporary, gospel and of course, South African musical infusions.
SINGLEGenre: Latin Jazz
Listening Time: 5:06 Minutes
Jonny's Braai Stomp
This song is about having a braai (BBQ for non-South Africans) at my cousin Jonny's place. It is always a non-alcoholic fun time with family, close friends and lekka snoek, chicken, lamb chops and boerewors, which includes entrees nogal, of potato chips, sweets and savoury tarts. Dessert is ice-cream, milk tart, chocolate cake and more sweets, and it isn't even Sunday yet.
Listening Time: 2:30 Minutes
Rudolph Is Uit Asem
A comical Christmas piece depicting Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, being slave-driven by Santa Claus. It's a Cape Town flavored carol with lyrics and comical quips both in English and Afrikaans, sung by a choir.
Listening Time: 3 Minutes
A Cape Christmas Carol
A fusion of goema, country and comedy. The choir harmony is a typical sound characteristic of the minstrels of Cape Town.
Listening Time: 15 Minutes
A short story of life and lifestyle in China. My second home, Shanghai boasts so much history, mystery and feelings of enchantment.
A collection of live audio performances and radio interviews.
PODCASTGenre: Classical Jazz
Listening Time: 3:44 Hours
Broadway Buskers Podcast
Improvised Piano Performances, based on a selection of Evergreen Hits, Broadway Classics and Golden Jazz Standards. Recorded live & unedited.
Listening Time: 73 Minutes
Interview with host Richard Griggs at the Zone Radio Studio in Cape Town, South Africa.