Cellist Abel Selaocoe is a multi-talented, award-winning musician and innovator whose music defies pigeon-holing. As comfortable performing a classical concerto as he is improvised jazz, Selaocoe is a thrilling young artist who continues to surprise and delight audiences. Where is Abel Selaocoe from?
Originally from South Africa, Selaocoe studied at the Royal Northern College of Music in the UK, graduating in 2018. Since then he has explored many avenues of music-making, performing in concert here in the UK and down in South Africa.
He’s a musician who likes to push boundaries…
Abel Selaocoe is a genre-bending performer who is passionate about opening up classical music to a wider and more diverse audience. He co-founded the Kabantu ensemble and the Chesaba trio, the latter specialising in music by African composers. Both ensembles have performed with partners from a variety of musical backgrounds. In curating recitals, Selaocoe seeks to bring different music traditions together in unusual ways.
He is performing in the 2021 BBC Proms season alongside the Chesaba trio.
He appeared with the BBC Concert Orchestra and his trio Chesaba at the 2020 EFG London Jazz Festival.
Abel Selaocoe: not just a cellist…
Abel Selaocoe is also a singer and often incorporates his own vocalisations into his music, even while he is playing the cello. He’s also a keen body percussionist, so is really something of a one-man band!
Has Abel Selaocoe released any albums or recordings?
Actually not a huge amount yet; he has recorded some music by Karl Jenkins and collaborated with the folk group Teyr.
There are some great performances of Abel Selaocoe on YouTube, though… like this take on a piece by Giovanni Sollima, called Lamentatio.
Selaocoe’s performance with Manchester Collective is also worth checking out.
Top image credit: Mlungisi Mlungwana