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Guestspeaker- The Reals Musicians
The Reals Musicians
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Durban South Africa
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The band was formed in October 2011 and has performed country-wide for various productions, including high profile corporate and private events and theatrical shows.
In 2007, Dawn, Barry and Mali were part of the support band for the official opening of the new ICC Arena where George Benson & Al Jurreau were also included in the line-up. For the past 8 years, the band have featured in Heritage Theatre productions and tribute shows including: ‘Woodstock Remembered’, ‘Taste Of Thomson’, ‘Brothers In Arms’, ‘Rock Legends’, ‘Buddy Holly & Friends’, ‘The Jazz Singer (Neil Diamond smash hit show), ‘California Dreaming’, ‘Bad Moon Rising’, ‘King and Queen’, ‘Stratpack’, ‘More Than A Feeling’, an Eagles Tribute show ‘Takin’ It Easy’, playing to full houses for the Rodriguez tribute ‘Cold Fact’ and ‘Five Decades of Rock’. 
At the Catalina Theatre, in 2011, 2012 and 2013, ‘The Reals’ performed to blues music lovers and loyal supporters at the Durban International Blues Festival. They did a season of ‘Cold Fact’ (Rodriguez Tribute) and ‘Tis The Season’ at the Rhumbelow Theatre in Durban and Pietermaritzburg over December 2013. In 2014, they have done performances at various venues, including ‘Live’, Music in the Meadow and Buds on the Bay. They also completed a successful season of ‘The Reals Festival, ‘Tis Not The Season’ and ‘Woodstock’ at the Rhumbelow Theatre in Durban and Pietermaritzburg.    
The Reals have just released their first EP which features some of their own compositions.
Well known to Durban audiences and a firm favourite on many theatre stages, guitar maestro and vocalist Barry Thomson is celebrated for his varied performances. Barry started playing music at the age of 7, and formed his first band when he was 13 at Beechwood High School in Durban. Barry graduated in 1991 from the Durban Technikon Music Department where he specialized in classical and contemporary guitar for 4 years. He performed in the 1988 Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre production of “Grease”. It was in this production that he met ‘Strawberry Fields’ band and was offered a permanent position in the band, under the leadership of Dawn Selby.
During 1993, Barry performed for a year on the East Coast of the USA. In 1995, Barry was commissioned by PACT to teach well-known artiste Joseph Clarke, to play electric guitar, in preparation for his role as Buddy Holly in the production of ‘Buddy’. Over the last 20 years, Barry has played for numerous theatre productions at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre and Playhouse theatre in Durban in shows such as ‘Unisex’, ‘You’re so Vain’, ‘Red Hot and Country’,  and ‘Hair’. He has also performed for 2 months at the Crowne Plaza 5 star hotel in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in 2001.
He taught guitar at Kearsney College for 8 years and was also a partner with Dawn in Strawberry Fields Recording Studio, involved in studio session work including composition, acoustic and electric guitar playing, harmonica and vocals. Some of his humorous radio and TV compositions include the title song for Leon Schuster’s movie ‘The Millennium Menace’, and a comedy Sharks song: ‘Chowed To The Bone. Barry co-devised and was musical director of the Vita award-winning show ‘The Guitar That Rocked the World’, in 1999, a show following the history of the Fender Stratocaster guitar. The show toured nationally including a season in Cape Town from December to January 2001. Themi Venturas and Barry did a 10 year anniversary run at the Sneddon Theatre in August 2010.
He performed in “Concert Fever” with highly acclaimed singer entertainer Joseph Clark, well known especially for his performance as Freddie Mercury in SA’s famous tribute show “Queen at the Opera”.  Barry performed a selection of the music from “Queen at the Opera” with Joe and the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra at the Sandton Convention Centre, and the KwaZulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestra in Durban at the Playhouse Theatre. He has now become a familiar face with the KZNPO, and has had the prestigious opportunity of appearing as soloist on lead guitar and vocals in various concerts, including Philharmonic Rock at the Durban City Hall and at ‘Starlight Pop Opera’. From 2001 to 2005, Barry toured South Africa on the Barnyard Theatre circuit, performing in many shows such as ‘Hot Chocolate’, ‘Roll Over Beethoven’, ‘Rock Me Amadeus’, ‘La Vida’, ‘Forever Young’, ‘Walking in Memphis’, and ‘Harvest Moon’.  He co-devised the hit show ‘Johnny Plays Guitar’, taking guitar playing to a new level on the Barnyard circuit.
He performed the lead role in the annual Young Performers’ musical at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre ‘School Of Rock SA’ where he played the part of the bohemian, charismatic teacher. The show is an adaptation of the movie ‘School Of Rock’, which put his acting skills to the test. He has since performed at White Mountain Folk Festival (2008, 2009 and 2010), and most recently at Splashy Fen (2008 and 2009). He performed his original material for Night Of 100 Stars, a Cancer research charity in August 2009.
In 2011 he completed a fifth sell-out season of his own show; ‘A Taste Of Thomson’ at the Heritage Theatre, where he takes the audience on a passionate musical journey through his life, interpreted by his greatest musical inspirations, showcasing his guitar and vocal skills. For the past four Durban International Blues Festivals, Barry performed as a solo artist, and as a guitarist for Liz Mandeville, a famed blues singer from Chicago. He has recorded an acoustic album called “Walk A Mile” which is a combination of his own songs and other artists’ material. He is currently working on the completion of his second solo acoustic album.
Musical Director and Band Leader of ‘The Reals’, Dawn has been playing music since the age of three. With her brother Ron, she was one of the founder members of sixties band Third Eye at nine years of age. She studied classical piano under the renowned pianist Moira Birks and then embarked on a professional career playing countrywide with bands including Halloween, Leprechaun and Cedric Samson’s Boogie Band. The three Third Eye albums have been re-released in Germany and are available locally. She has backed cabaret artistes including Paul Andrews, Cy Sacks, Eddie Eckstein and Dianne Chandler. Whilst in Johannesburg she gained great experience working in the top recording studios with artistes including Malie Kelly, Bobby Louw, Joe Arthur and the Stockley sisters.
On her return to Durban, she accepted two part-time teaching posts, one at St. Mary’s School in Kloof and the other at Kearsney College where she specializes in Modern Piano / Keyboard tuition and arranging vocal scores. She has travelled to Germany, China and Austria with the Kearsney Choir who won overall performers prize at the Austrian Festival 2004 and were overall winners in the folklore section at the 2004 German Choir Olympics, winning gold and silver medals. 
Dawn has performed and been Musical and Vocal Director for many theatrical stage productions including ‘Godspell’, ‘Good Vibrations’, ‘Pippin’, ‘Grease’, ‘Joseph’, ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’, ‘Annie’, ‘Annie Get Your Gun’, ‘Smike’, ‘Irma La Douce’, ‘Chess’, ‘Fiddler on the Roof’, ‘Hair’, ‘The Wiz’, ’ West Side Story’, ‘The Boyfriend’, ‘Elvis’, ‘Five Guys Named Moe’, ‘Concert Fever’ (with Joseph Clark), ‘The Legend of the Eagles’ and ‘Air Guitar’. She has also performed at the Barnyard Theatres in Durban and Cape Town, as Musical Director in the Duck Chowles productions of ‘Glory Days’, ‘Yesterday’, ‘Sixties Revolution’, the voted most popular show at the Durban Barnyard, ‘G String’ , ‘Boogie Wonderland’, ‘Walking in Memphis’ and ‘Harvest Moon’. Dawn has been nominated for various productions as Best Musical Director by the Durban Theatre Awards over the past few years. For the past eight years, Dawn has musically and vocally directed and performed in many productions at the Heritage Theatre, Hillcrest and more recently at the Rhumbelow Theatre in Durban and Pietermaritzburg.   
Dawn has performed countrywide from Sun City to the Wild Coast, for many different types of functions and shows, playing a wide variety of music. She has been Musical Director and performed for many high profile International Conferences held in South Africa, which have had over 100 performers, involving front line vocalists (Joseph Clarke, Vicki Samson, Shaluza Max, Dorothy Masuko, Busi Mhlongo etc), choirs, band with brass section and full orchestra. Some of these conferences have involved original music for band, choir and orchestra, composed and arranged by Dawn. In March 2013, Dawn was invited to co-ordinate, musically direct, arrange for the orchestra and perform for the Spar 50th year celebrations at the ICC in Cape Town. This production involved 27 performers, including 17 members of the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra and Joseph Clarke, Kerry Hiles and Barry Thomson as front-line performers.   
She has performed regularly with the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra, and they use her orchestral arrangements of contemporary and traditional music. She has also done full orchestral arrangements of Heinz Winckler’s and Melanie Lowe’s original compositions. Dawn also arranged one Ken E. Henson’s original compositions ‘Marakesh’ which both she & Kenny performed with the KZNPO at the Durban City Hall for the Durban Designer Collection in 2005. Her arrangements have also been used by the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, for numerous concerts including the recent ‘US Arfiva Centre for Aids’ concert at the Artscape Opera Hall, Cape Town, the Botanic Gardens with the KZNPO, Joseph Clarke, Melanie Louw and Kreesan. Some of her arrangements have been used at the Rotary Philharmonic Rock at the Durban City Hall, the Starlight Pops 2006 to 2013 performances, Christmas Carol Services, Valentine’s and Mothers’ Days, Botanic Gardens. Dawn has also done live camera direction for Starlight Pops.
In 2009, 2010 and 2011, Dawn was invited to do orchestral arrangements for shows featuring the Guelph Symphony Orchestra, Toronto, Canada. The repertoire consisted mainly of rock songs and the orchestra line-up includes a six piece band and four front line singers. She was also invited to perform with the orchestra in 2009. She has also arranged music for ‘Under the Streetlamp’ (ex
Broadway Jersey Boys front-line performers) who have performed with the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra. Dawn does computer music programming, specializing in original corporate song and video documentary theme compositions, radio & TV jingle composition, scoring, general piano/keyboard, vocal arranging and performance sessions. She has also been involved in composing, playing and singing on soundtracks for local movies, including various Leon Schuster productions. Dawn has also performed for fundraiser Charity Events including Night of a Hundred Stars (Cancer Association of SA) and benefit concerts for local artistes, including Kenny Henson.
Mali began playing drums at age 10, practicing to his father’s albums, ranging from Shirley Bassey,  Ray Conniff and The James Last Orchestra, to The Beatles, Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, The Doobie Brothers and various artists. If it had any type of an appealing groove, he worked hard at rehearsing and perfecting the various drum patterns. At age 16, he was persuaded by his father to attend formal lessons with one of South Africa’s top Jazz drummers, Gerald Kerdachi. He was also fortunate enough to meet and receive drum tuition from the legendary Derek de Beer of Johnny Clegg’s Jaluka and Sevuka fame, enabling Mali to improve his capabilities whilst focusing on a rock orientated approach.
Mali played in various gig bands, but it was while performing with ‘Brooklyn’ in 1984 that he won Best Drummer in a battle of the bands contest at The Los Angeles Hotel. He won this award again in 1985 and 1986. Mali then freelanced with Steve Fataar (The Flames), Fiona Tozer, Tim Hoare (Morocco) and The Mark Harris Band. In 1995 he performed Bad Habit as support band to Mike and the Mechanics at Durban’s Village Green.
In 1997 he was approached by Don Clarke from C & G recording studio to perform as a session musician with Adult Art who recorded two albums, Small Mercies and Pickering Street, both of which received nominations in 1998 and 1999 at the South African Music Association awards. In 1998 he featured in the musical tribute to Cliff Richard, titled ‘Sir Cliff’ at The Courtyard Theatre and also performed Sunset Proms with The KwaZulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestra. August 1999 saw Mali touring the USA with Duncan Faure (ex Rabbitt / Bay City Rollers) and The Bluebottles. He appeared on Duncan’s album, recorded in Omaha, Nebraska. In 2006 he played with Grammy Award winner Vasti Jackson. In 1999, Mali met Barry and Dawn when he was asked to perform for ‘The Guitar That Rocked the World’.
Mali has performed in productions at various venues, including Sun City Superbowl, Cape Town International Convention Centre, Barnyard Theatres, Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, Mojo’s, the Heritage Theatre and the Rhumbelow Theatre in Durban and Pietermaritzburg. He has also performed at Splashy Fen and White Mountain Festivals. Mali has also performed for Fundraiser Charity Events including the Hospital for Sick Children (Toronto, Canada), Night of a Hundred Stars (Cancer Association of SA) and benefit concerts for Mike Smith, Kenny Henson and Roberta Pijper.
Jason is the bass player, lead and backing vocalist for ‘The Reals’ and comes from a musical background. He was raised in Johannesburg and his first encounters with music were in school choirs, singing in the Alberton Primary School Choir for the duration of his primary school career. In High School, Jason played drums for the schools ‘Gees Vang’ band at athletic events, also playing a variety of brass instruments with the Salvation Army. Jason's first rock experience came with the band, "Hard To Find" in Germiston, where he discovered a natural ability as a bass player.
Jason relocated to Durban and has since worked with a variety of artists and bands on the pub circuit, including Stir, Rits, Dv8 and The Tim Wells Blues band to name a few. Jason played bass for the Durban International Blues festival with Liz Mandeville from Chicago for two years running, and Fiona Boyes from Australia. In May 2009, Jason was asked to perform in ‘Taste of Thomson’ and soon after, invited to take up a permanent position in ‘The Reals’.
The band was formed in October 2011 and has performed country-wide for various productions, including high profile corporate and private events and theatrical shows.
In 2007, Dawn, Barry and Mali were part of the support band for the official opening of the new ICC Arena where George Benson & Al Jurreau were also included in the line-up. For the past 8 years, the band have featured in Heritage Theatre productions and tribute shows including: &lsqu
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