Esteemed double bassist James Oesi is excitedly looking forward to his first concert tour to South Africa.
Says James: “After years of wanting to return to South Africa to perform, I am absolutely thrilled that next Friday, July 19th, I will be flying to Johannesburg with my wonderful duo partner, pianist Andrea Vasi to begin a five-city tour of this beautiful country that I had the privilege of growing up in!”
Over the past decade, James has established a vibrant career for himself as a solo double bassist and in the process, he is ‘truly blazing new trails for double bassists worldwide’.
He also founded and hosted the Dutch Double Bass Festival in 2017 in The Hague.
Traditionally, the contrabass isn’t necessarily seen as a full-fledged solo instrument. But bassist James Oesi, born in England, growing up in South Africa, studying in Russia, and now living in the Netherlands, is stretching the limits. Together with his regular duo partner, pianist Andrea Vasi, he brings a recital that is dedicated to three great sonatas. Originally written for cello or violin and piano, Oesi plays these timeless works on his contrabass in a most intimate way, with bravado and masterly perfection. In Vasi he finds his musical counterpart; from start to finish their intimate dialogue will keep the listener in suspense.
Andrea Vasi was born in Voorburg, the Netherlands, in a Romanian-Dutch family. She is a respected soloist and collaborative pianist. (Read more about Andrea’s accomplishments in the Biography section under James Oesi.)
Listen here to James and Andrea’s recording of Schubert’s Sonata in A minor D821 – “Arpeggione”; I. Allegro Moderato (Amsterdam, March 2016)
For his South African tour, James will travel with a double bass created by a famous Parisian luthier who makes basses with removable necks specifically designed for travel which takes the total weight down to 30kgs and makes the flight case much more manageable as well.
As James was going to play this instrument for the first time, he had to adapt his recital programme. The following will be performed on tour.
Luciano Berio – Psy
César Franck – Sonata in A major for violin and piano
G F Handel – Violin Sonata no. 4, HWV 371
Maurice Ravel – Deux Mélodies Hébraïques; I. Kaddisch
Vittorio Monti – Czárdás
James and Andrea will perform on the following dates in the following cities and towns… 21 July @ 18:00 at Northwards in Parktown, Johannesburg | 23 July @ 19:30 at the Jewish Club in Durban North | 25 July @ 19:30 at the National English Literary Museum in Makhanda (Grahamstown) | 28 July @ 15:30 at the Civic Auditorium in Hermanus | 04 August @ 16:00 at the Miriam Makeba Concert Hall, Unisa Muckleneuk Campus, Pretoria
“Do expect loads of updates, photos, and videos of our trip on my social media, especially on the newest addition to my social media presence, Instagram! And of course, if you are in any of the places on our tour, please come to one of the concerts!”, enthuses James Oesi.