Of all the music legends in South Africa, Trevor Nasser stands out as the most loved, respected and acknowledged for his prowess in guitar and mandolin. He made his mark internationally when television chose only his music as the accompaniment to Nelson Mandela’s second long walk to freedom she was released from Pollsmoor. South African nationals remember him with nostalgia for his music which dominated as a signature to the famous ‘Vyfster’ television series.
Today Trevor Nasser boasts almost 2 million sales and many Gold Discs of his great selection of music. He is known for interpreting the music of eras, celebrating great events and leaving fond memories for those who treasure the words and meaning of famous numbers.
It is impossible to switch on a favoured radio station without being treated to a Trevor Nasser number evocative of the good times. He has been a regular radio and television filler artist.
An extensive traveler he has graced most towns and cities of South Africa with his rare talent and concerts, responding to the needs of diverse audiences. He is equally at home with global evergreen numbers, ethnic music, classical, orchestra, folk and Afrikaans favourites. He is deeply religious and his gospel music has also made him famous.
Most people don’t know that Trevor was trained as an Electrical Engineer in which career he obtained numerous qualifications and professional certifications. But music was the golden thread in the Nasser home and when his father died he made the decision to take over the family business. His father Rudolph was well respected for teaching music, radio broadcasting and concerts before television had its birth in South Africa. His mother Lily who is believed to be related to the famous writer Kahlil Gibran was a driving force in his career and she herself was known for her talent in the music and arts.
Ask anyone who is anyone about the Afrikaans 1984 TV series Vyfster and they will immediately know what you are asking about. This was one programme that guaranteed a successful following at all ages. Dinners, homework, taken home office work were all forgotten as the unforgettable theme track announced that time of evening when all would watch, ponder, listen, engage and delight in this South African masterpiece.
The series commanded attention with its South African flavour, content and relevance. Broadcast by the SABC it was a winner from the first day as it traced the lives, loves, interactions, favours and challenges of prisoners and their prison warders. We wept and laughed with them.
Ask the same audience what else they remember and although content may be forgotten what has remained is the famous theme tune that haunted each episode: Vyfster. This was played by South Africa’s own famous guitarist Trevor Nasser and at every event at which he plays to day he is still asked to play the theme, again and again.
When Nelson Mandela left prison, the SABC chose the unforgettable Vyfster theme to play in the background. Its motive may have been to remind us that our Madiba was leaving prison after 27 years. It however succeeded in achieving much more than that – it united a nation with shared memories, a much loved tune and sound – crossing divides, colour, race and creed.
Trevor Nasser who instinctively saw this potential, played as he had never played before on this Vyfster rendition. He knew its potential meaning for the nation. With his usual impeccable crisp style of playing, perfect intonation and phrasing, the music reached us all, reminding us metaphorically of what was and what could be.
That moment and Trevor’s music was noted by the global community and today it remains the legend he has himself become. We invite you to listen to Trevor playing his unforgettable Vyfster. Let it flood you with memories. Better still invite him to play at your next function.
|Somewhere Out There||Classical||2009|
|Classical Memories (Klassieke Keur)||Instrumental||2012|