Cameron Ward

Bio

Cameron Ward is an artist from South Africa.

Before his death in January 2018, legendary South African music icon Hugh Masekela lauded guitarist Cameron Ward as “one of his favorite musicians.” A member of Masekela’s band since he was 21, Ward is now poised to establish himself as an international solo artist - with ambitions to one day take his place among the giants of South African music - like his mentor.

Already hailed as a crowd favorite with U.S. and European audiences for his showmanship and musical prowess, Ward honed and mastered his improvisational ideas, solo and vocal acumen, and rhythm guitar skills for nearly a decade playing sold-out jazz clubs and festivals worldwide alongside Masekela and his band. Music critics have called Ward “hands-down one of the most versatile musicians of his generation.”

Influenced by revered international guitarists Wes Montgomery, George Benson, Jonathan Butler and Jimmy Dludlu, to name a few, Ward, with his distinguished boyish features, grew up in the Lotus River area along the Cape Flats, in Cape Town, South Africa. Raised by a single mother, Ward said his mother shielded him from the street gangs with church. A drummer for Pentecostal Protestant Church Ottery, at age six, his mother later sent him to music school to study the piano.

After learning the piano, he formed a church band with his relatives called Cousins for Christ. Ward said he was stuck with a guitar because that was the only instrument left. “Little did I know that my love for guitar would grow,” Ward said.

At first self-taught, Ward met fellow South African guitarist Jimmy Dludlu, who was impressed enough to send him to study music full time for two years. Dludlu also bought Ward his first guitar.

After years working as a backing guitarist for a number of South African bands and artists, Masekela, who was looking for a fresh sound, held auditions. Ward was hired.

The young protégé headlined with Masekela at such venues as Carnegie Hall in New York, Yoshi’s Jazz Club in Oakland and The Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. Internationally, Ward has played in countless venues across Africa, and crisscrossed Europe, playing the Lugano Music Festival in Switzerland, the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands, the Montreal Jazz Festival, the Back to Black Jazz Festivals in London and Brazil, the famed Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London and the Blue Note Jazz Club in Tokyo, Japan.

Ward 33,credits his church upbringing, faith and family, with his success, proclaiming, “I love the Lord. Without God, I am nothing.”

In 2016, he rearranged the traditional U.S. gospel anthem “Where He Leads Me” into a saucy and melodic African jazz tune. The song became a popular standard with Masekela’s band.

In December 2017, Ward released the DVD&CD combo, Cameron Ward, Live at the Orbit, his sophomore project further showcasing his diverse smooth Jazz, Afro Jazz/Afro Pop repertoire. Six musicians comprise The Cameron Ward Band.

Cameron Ward live @TheOrbit Album...

Gigs

ZACape Town, South Africa
In operation since: 
2003

Contact

0780349554
Cameron Ward

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