He’s particularly fond of playing on the streets, and he may be the country’s best known busker. He’s recorded several albums since the 80s, mostly outside the traditional music scene.
He was born in Zanzibar, grew up in Kenya and moved to New Zealand when he was 12. He’s a fantastic guitarist and a troubadour in that middle ages tradition of questioning and satirical songs, and making a living off what your talent brings you from the people who walk by …
I first saw him in concert in a venue that no longer exists, but it was an old church where music students used to sit their Trinity music exams. It was a cold night and we waited outside, past the start time. A car rocked up, this guy got out and used bolt cutters to get the lock of the heavy gothic door, and we went in and he played. I don’t know if it was a stunt or real, but I’ve never forgotten it.
He’s ended up busking all over the world, but now lives in Auckland. I’m going to play two songs- the second is an improvised track with tabla accompaniment, and the first is a live recording on the streets of Auckland late at night as the bar crowds gather …
Starbucks and Starmart
The second is another live recording, this time with Basant Madhur playing tabla.
Also check out this interesting Luke Hurley documentary: