Rozanne Gewaar & Band
Sunday, June 22, 2014, 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Lead Belly Stage - Room #333
Rozanne Gewaar sings quiet observations of the human spirit, our relations and our struggles. She spent her childhood years in Knysna, South Africa, where she would wander along the Knysna lagoon, humming stories to herself. Her student years in Port Elizabeth brought songs of the ocean, the sky, flying, loving, laughing, and language. She currently finds inspiration in the American Midwest, with its wide skies, everflowing highways and the open hearts of people who love freely.
As a little girl, Rozanne sang, daydreamed, and wrote. Although she was often drawn to the stage during her school years, she kept songwriting close to her heart. During her university days, her poetry was confined to the margins of accounting and computer science papers.
Finding a Voice
After moving to the United States, for what was expected to be a temporary work assignment, Rozanne decided that it was time to do something with her big 'file o' songs'. Someone had to sing them - but who? Perhaps, she thought - perhaps if she put together a demo, she could send that to singers and find homes for her 'children'. She reached out to friend and artist Maery Lanahan for voice lessons, and slowly started seeking out performance opportunities. Her first open mic was at a small club called Peaches, in Dayton, Ohio. From here, she started doing the rounds at coffee houses in the area. Audiences commented at her unique and expressive delivery, and she found that she truly enjoyed performing. The plan had changed!
Today, Rozanne regularly tries out new songs at venues such as the Bazaar Cafe in San Francisco. An Afrikaans EP, "Voel Jou", was released in 2010. Rozanne released her first-length album, "Songs From Church Street", early 2012. Tracks like "Blue Eyed Madness", "Kill No More" and "Caution" drew praise for its performance style and lyrical content.
A second, all-Afrikaans album, "En Met Tyd" followed at the end of 2012. This sparse album, accentuated with delicate improvised cello performances by the South African Ha!Man Francois le Roux, was released in Amsterdam and Cape Town in a series of thirteen shows and two radio concerts. During the release tour, a new album was recorded at Sunset Studios in Stellenbosch. Kleine Gode, was released in December 2013 and sports a richer, lusher production style. A video for the song, Wag Vir Morelig, was released with the album.
Now, Rozanne is back in the US, where she will continue to work, write, and sing. There is no rush to her work. There is no commercial need. Hers is a gentle art - one that flows with the heart, with the ebb and tide of late night longing, and with the love for country and friends that stays steady through the decades.