Adolph Johannes Brand, 9 October 1934, Cape Town, South Africa. Ibrahim began playing piano as a small child, learning church music and hearing many other forms, including jazz, from radio and records. Known initially by the name Dollar Brand, he began his professional career in the mid-50s playing popular music of the day, but by the end of the decade had formed a band that included Hugh Masekela and concentrated on jazz. In the early 60s his political activities drew the attention of the authorities and he embarked upon a protracted visit to Europe with singer Sathima Bea Benjamin, whom he married. In Switzerland they attracted the much more benign and welcome attention of Duke Ellington, who helped arrange a recording session and opened other doors that led to appearances in the USA in the mid-60s. Later resident in New York City, Ibrahim played with leading exponents of free-form music, amongst them John Coltrane, Don Cherry and Ornette Coleman. He also...
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