Take four acoustic guitar-playing friends, each born under the sign of the water-bearer; each having developed an almost
unreasonable passion for a small ancient wooden box with six strings. Give each musician a penchant for originality,
formidable musical flair and a great sense of humour and there, almost in a nutshell, is The Aquarian Quartet.
I say 'almost' because the diversity of technique, of sheer musical 'style' has to be heard to be believed
and is difficult to encapsulate with mere words. Any guitar quartet that comes into existence is generally informed
by the fact that the musicians have all learned their craft at the same school and thus, the fundamental musical
groundwork is very similar, if not identical. Not so with the AQ. Here we have four guitarists whose influences
are rarely uniform, giving this quartet its brilliant and novel approach to the age-old art of making music. When listening
to the quartet's musical language, the word 'multilingual' comes to mind, as it is obvious that they cross and blur cultural
borders with breathtaking ease and in the process take no notice whatsoever of any sacred cows. Brilliant, energetic, innovative,
'skollies', geniuses, 'skrummunkles', wizards, gentlemen - the list of adjectives that have been used to describe the
individuals of The Aquarian Quartet is endless, and with the release of this remarkable live album we can expect a few more.
TONY COX (24 January 1954)
Born in Zimbabwe, Tony is a steel-string acoustic guitarist who began playing at the age of nine. He has forged a reputation
as one of South Africa's finest guitarists through his long-term commitment to the art of guitar-playing. His performances
and skill with his instrument are legendary and he has released several acclaimed albums through the Sheer Sound label, the
latest titled 'Matabele Ants'. He resides in Johannesburg where he lives, breathes and teaches guitar.
GREG GEORGIADES (15 February 1953)
Born in Pretoria and eleven years in, began playing the guitar; a passion that is firmly entrenched in this unique musician.
Greg has been the quintessential sideman, adding his flair for musical power to the work of many different artists, such as
Neill Solomon and the Uptown Rhythm Dogs, The Jazz Hounds, The Passengers, the late Mike Makhalemele and Jeff Maluleke.
Extremely versatile, Greg performs on the Uod, Bouzouki and nylon string guitar. His Eastern touches can be clearly heard
within the music of the AQ. Greg is currently working with his 'Mutant Harmony Trio' and the duo 'Strings and Skins'.
He continues to live in Pretoria.
SYD KITCHEN (14 February 1951)
Born in Durban, Syd rose to prominence in folk circles as early as the seventies with his brother Pete. Later, Syd forged
a solo career and went on to record a string of albums. Uncountable performances at festivals and music venues around the
country ensured him a loyal audience hooked on his biting and original use of lyrics combined with a deadly skill on the
guitar. He is currently doing his PHD in music, has a band called Amakool, and lives and teaches in Durban.
STEVE NEWMAN (25 January 1952)
Born in Salt River, Cape Town, this phenomenal nylon-string guitarist has become a household word in South Africa and
has made a huge dent in the psyches of ordinary South Africans with his groundbreaking group Tananas. This South African
super-group has been invited to perform in four Womad festivals giving the rest of the world a chance to share Steve
Newman's extraordinary musical vision. He lives in a remote region called the Baviaan's Kloof in the Eastern Cape.