Memorial service honours Cape Town Jazz legend Tony Cedras

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A memorial service for Cape Town jazz legend Tony Cedras has been held at the St. Georges Cathedral. He died on the 29th of January following a short illness, aged 71.

Cedras was an accomplished musician, playing alongside big names and international stars including Paul Simon and Harry Belafonte, among others.

Cedras was born on Elsie’s River in 1952. He specialised in playing instruments such as the accordion, harmonium, keyboard, and guitar. During his musical career, he graced many international stages, playing alongside Paul Simon in every line-up for more than two decades.

His daughter, Samantha Pearce, says he was a loving father, “I will remember him as a person who, when he’s gone, you realise the lessons and the messages he wanted to teach you were valuable. It’s about all facets of life, how to cook, and how to approach meetings. How to be in the business world and how to be in your marriage. There’s a lot of lessons I learned from him, but I realized it when he went away from us.”

Cedras has been described as a music icon, a legend, and a community leader.

Chief Zenzile Khoisana, who was a keynote speaker, says, “Besides the fact that he was one of our indigenous leaders he was also a close friend. I have known him here in this country, but I also knew him when I was many years in exile, particularly when I spent time with him in New York City. What I find in him is all the attributes of an exemplary person who wants to see a people restituted, recognised and restored.”

He leaves behind his wife, four daughters, and grandchildren. His eldest daughter, Anthea, died three days after his passing.

Family, friends remember Jazz Legend, Tony Cedras: