hometown
Bellville, Western Cape

genre
Acoustic Pop/Rock

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band members
NameRole
Alma HeibergLead Vox, Squeezy
Barry SwanLead Vox, guitars, trombone
Brendan BothaDrums
Jonathan CoetzeeBass
Marelize ZeemanViolin
Matthew RavenGuitars, perc, mandolin, BV
Stef LouwKeyboards

Albireo

Albireo is a 7 piece band playing (mostly) original music composed and produced by Barry Swan. Barry plays guitars and lead vox, Alma Heiberg - Lead Vox & accordion, Stef Louw - keyboards & BV, Matthew Raven - second guitar, mandolin, marimba, percussion and BV, Jonathan Coetzee - bass, Brendan Botha - drums, Marelize Zeeman - violin. The music is a blend of Folk, Rock, Jazz & the Blues.

Albireo in its current form has been around since the middle of '08, performing our debut performance on the 21st September '08.

Barry has been an Sound Engineer and Music Producer for over 30 years, professionaly composing and producing for the South African Film & TV industries. Albireo was conceived as a creative outlet for a growing amount of artistic material. Barry has composed all of the original material of Albireo. Although a competant multi-instrumenalist, Barry chooses to play guitar on-stage. He plays acoustic, electric and dobro guitars (although he does occasionaly venture onto trombone & harmonica).

Sharing the lead vocals with Barry is Alma Heiberg. She has a 19 year history on the professional music circuit in Cape Town and has performed at most of the premier venues. Most notably at the Millenium celebrations at the V&A Waterfront. She is a vocal coach by profession. On-stages sees her performing with her vintage accordion.

Stepping in to look after the keys is Stef Louw. She has considerable experience on the Cape Town professional music scene and is a well respected keyboard player and pianist in her own right. She also makes a valuable contribution on the top harmonies.

The natural talent of rookie Matthew Raven is a breath of fresh air in the outfit. Fluent on several instruments, his primary duties up to now have been on percussion and drums. He's been a bit wasted back there just banging the skins and so I've brought him forward to feature on guitar, mandolin and percussion and various other instruments closer to the front line. He also slots in with the top harmony on backing vocals.

Jonathan Coetzee on bass is an old hand on the stages of Cape Town. With roots in R&B and Jazz, he proficiently holds down the bottom end groove, effortlessly switching between upright, 6 string bass and fretless. He is a great asset to the band.

Brendan Botha is the man behind the skins. Brendan is a civil engineer by day and has used his considerable technical expertise and analytical knowledge to bend his head around some of the 'finer points' of the Albireo arrangements. Good going mate. This of course has once again developed the face of the Albireo tone which is always a good thing.

Our soloist position is filled by Marelize Zeeman on violin. An accomplished classical violinist, this is a galant foray into the world outside the box, and she makes a valuable contribution towards the varied tonality of the band.

The overall tone is, and will always be, a work in progress. The music must evolve as the band does and I am not dogmatically set on any one way of performing a piece of music. One of the characteristics of the sound must be that it must be interesting and unpredictable. It must be able to catch the attention of the listener and hold it, without the music getting boring or tired. Variety & dynamics are essential. Variety of style, yet emanating from the same space, and without trying to sound like anybody else.

First division or bust!


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