Sheldon and his colourful colleagues

beat-route
Trumpeter Daniel Sheldon (second right in front) with fellow members of Beat-Route, which performs in Durban this and next weekend.

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BY BILLY SUTER

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Twenty Questions for Daniel Sheldon, trumpeter with colourful Durban band, Beate Route, which is presenting a new mixed-bag showband entertainment, Mr Bojangles, Dance, at the Rhumbelow Theatre in Cunningham Road, Umbilo, this weekend and next. This Friday (February 17), there is a special offer – book a table of eight and pay only R100 each (limited tables available). Otherwise tickets cost R150 each. Performances are at 8pm this and next Friday and Saturday (February 17, 18, 24 and 25), as well as at 2pm this Sunday (February 19), and 2pm and 6.30pm next Sunday (February 26). To book, or for more information, email Roland Stansell at roland@stansell.za.net
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WHAT RANGE OF SONGS CAN WE EXPECT IN YOUR NEW SHOW – AND WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO COME ALONG AND LISTEN?
It will be a musical smorgasbord! We are a jazz band but we don’t restrict ourselves when choosing repertoire, so folks can expect everything from Hugh Masekela to Pharrell Williams, The House of the Rising Sun and some New Orleans rep.
It is the month of love so we will take a nod in that direction with a classic… and, of course, the show is titled Mr Bojangles. All the songs are built on original arrangements so don’t expect anything in the ordinary.
WHY THE TITLE ‘MR BOJANGLES, DANCE’? AND ANY SURPRISE ELEMENTS?
To sell tickets! Everybody loves Mr Bojangles. There will be a few surprises, but obviously not if I outline them here.

WHEN LAST DID BEAT-ROUTE PLAY THE RHUMBELOW AND WHAT MEMORIES OF THAT EXPERIENCE?
We have been a regular feature at the Rhumbelow for the last three years.We have done some beautiful gigs since we formed the showband line up: a few extravagant weddings, some nice corporates and, notabl,y the Vodacom Durban July fashion catwalk events and the VIP suite on Race Day.
Recently we were pleased to be a part of Over-Exposed with David Gouldie and the Durban Entertainment Motley Crew.
WHERE AND WHEN WAS THE BAND FORMED AND FOR WHAT PARTICULAR REASON?
Beat-Route was formed at Market Restaurant about 12 or so years ago – when it was Manna, a swing-jazz quartet. The quartet still maintains three original members (Gerald Sloan, Logan Byrne and myself) but the showband has changed a few members over its three years.
Currently we feature Tom Hare on saxes, Logan Byrne on upright bass, Zoe Masuku on vocals, Riley Giandhari on traps, David Langley on keys of fire, Kerry Lee Langley on vocals and myself on trumpet. We also have a few other unsung members behind the scenes as deputies: great pianist Andile Mnikhati, Avinash Many (of Manteca fame), Gerald Sloan on guitar and Jose Chemane on drums.
WHAT SORT OF GIGS HAVE YOU ALL PLAYED SINCE FORMING… AND HOW MANY?
Sho! We have done literally thousands of gigs – corporates, weddings, parties. There have been so many highlights – the 2010 Soccer World Cup events was one. And jazz pianist Joe Delew’s birthday party was way up there, too.
WHERE AND WHEN WERE YOU BORN – AND ARE YOU FROM A MUSICAL FAMILY?
I was born in Zimbabwe in 1977. My grandfather was a musician. He played piano, banjo and harmonica.
WHAT FORMAL TRAINING HAVE YOU HAD?
I have dabbled in bass and actually started off on guitar. I bought a trumpet on a whim when I was in my early 20s. Changed my life! I studied at the then- Natal Tech in a fantastic music course, and recently completed a degree with some lessons from Michel Schneuwly. He had a hard time with me… I don’t have great classical technique.
WHAT MARKED YOUR FIRST TIME ON STAGE – EVER?
Um…. that would be a school production of The Ugly Duckling. I remember giving one of the other characters a kick in the bum which elicited rapturous applause and laughter. Everybody loves a bit of slapstick.
WHAT FIVE WORDS BEST DESCRIBE YOU?
Artsy. Dreamer. Nutty. Chaotic. Busy.
WHAT ARE FIVE THINGS ABOUT YOURSELF (HOWEVER TRIVIAL) THAT PEOPLE ARE UNLIKELY TO KNOW?
Most people? probably the five words above and my inside leg measurement. That is strictly between me and my tailor.
YOUR MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT ON STAGE?
Running in late as the last member of an orchestra, after an intermission, was sort of embarrassing.
HOBBIES, PASTIMES AND FAVOURITE THINGS?
Painting, drawing, reading, music, swimming, prancing in the garden and spending time with family. All at the same time.
WHAT FIVE THINGS WOULD YOU LIST UNDER ‘VASTLY OVERRATED’?
Facebook, TV, politics, personal beliefs and beer. (Wait, maybe not beer.)
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE COLOUR, MEAL, BAND, ALBUM, TV SHOW AND MOVIE?
These things change all the time but if I had to decide right now I would go for yellow (for some things), Herb Alpert (a band in himself), The Mexican Suite by Duke Ellington (found it in a pawn shop, lost it at a party and haven’t been able to find the album anywhere since), Game of Thrones and The Lady in the Van.
IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY FIVE THINGS FROM FIVE DIFFERENT PEOPLE, WHAT AND WHO WOULD THEY BE?
Spike Milligan’s sense of humour, Louis Armstrong’s sense of melody, Leonard Cohen’s sense of poetry, Donald Trump’s bucket list and Tom Hare’s common sense.
WHAT IS THE WORST TROUBLE YOU HAVE EVER BEEN IN? PLEASE ELABORATE.
Umm… who is going to be reading this?
WHAT ARE YOUR FEARS AND PHOBIAS – AND WHY?
Nothing out of the ordinary… perhaps waking up as a single cell organism in a primordial soup and finding that all this wonder and tragic beauty will have just been a dream.


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