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Estelle Kokot


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Estelle Kokot is currently working on a new album, singing and playing the compositions of Chico Freeman and Jan Pulsford. Jan and Chico will be producing and the full line-up of this exciting project will be announced in 2014! To read more about the project go to

The Early Years
Estelle recorded two singles with Warner Bros. when she was eighteen, featuring South African piano genius Lionel Pillay and jazz guitar legend Johnny Fourie.

‘I used to hitch a ride all over in my teens and early twenties before doing my first gig playing solo piano at the Mmabatho Sun Hotel in the homeland of Bophuthatswana. After relocating to Cape Town I bought a car. Back in Jozi in the mid 1980′s, I’d drive around seeking out gigs and jam sessions. I learnt by listening. We shared chords, ideas and inversions. Very little was written down but this is how we developed our own thing stylistically, our love for music transcending who we are.’

In the mid 1980’s Estelle met jazz bassist and club owner Art Kelly. After playing two songs in the band break she was booked to do a regular solo spot at Rumours in Rockey Street every Thursday. The Black Sun and gigs playing for the miners on Fridays at The President Hotel in downtown Johannesburg followed.

Kokot’s stage debut in 1987 with modern jazz super group Phambili at Kippies Jazz Club created quite a buzz and she went on to guest with South African World Music Stars Bayete, also appearing with Barney Rachebane and Victor Ntoni at the A Train Jazz Club behind Orlando soccer stadium in Soweto.

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