Saturday, April 16, 2011

It is with great sadness that I have to let you all know that Zane Cronje died at 3.55 this morning. He had been unconscious for 2 days, and just slipped away.

Margaret doesn't want any calls at the moment, but appreciates your support. Perhaps you can let others who may not be on my nag list know this news.

More details about the funeral will come in the next few days.

Very soon after Zane arrived on our jazz scene, I wrote a kind of CV for him. Below is the front of what was a glossy fold over leaflet

Next is the summery he wrote himself to go with the CV:-

"Born in South Africa, I am a successful world stage musician, currently in the UK to extend my experience of jazz piano. I have won many awards and gained much experience in the South African Broadcasting Media.

In the 1970’s and 80’s I was a recording artist for companies including EMI and CBS Records. I have accompanied many touring singers including Caterina Valente, Alma Cogan, Sandy Shaw, Helen Shapiro, and Spike Milligan.

Since arriving in the UK in July 2001 I have been playing jazz piano with local bands “Century Jazz” and “The Clive Burton Quartet”, having regular weekly club engagements with both bands. I have also played with the “The Chosen Few” Big Band led by Bill Castle for 6 months. I have accompanied a number of local singers, both in performance and in the recording studio, and I have played cocktail piano for “The Mill” at Sonning, and “The Christopher Wren” at Eton. In addition I have appeared at a number of Jazz Concerts. I have composed music for TV Adverts, Soap Operas, and Films, as well as being a TV Studio musical director and arranger."

I knew him for most of his time in the UK, and before he met Margaret, I took him to some of the UK's tourist attractions. He loved Winchester, Salisbury, and Malmesbury, and wanted to see so much more. I also interviewed him on Cookham Summer FM, and learnt a bit about his early life in SA.

As a musician he will be sorely missed. He excelled as an accompanist, and as a soloist. He was a founder member of The Clive Burton Quintet, our regular Hedsor Jazz band and we have enjoyed his company for over 10 years.

I believe now he has found the peace that we wished for him collectively at Hedsor on Thursday.

I just hope now that his family and friends will also find some peace, knowing he is out of the trap that his body had kept him in for the last few months.

There is a time for all things, for tears as well as joy, and for memories and for recollections too.



Margaret said...

Thankyou Geoff..
That is beautiful

matt said...

Dear Margaret,
I'm very sorry to hear that Zane is no longer with us. I run a record label in the UK specialising in South African jazz reissues on vinyl and would like to discuss a recording made by Zane in the late 1960s - with a view to reissuing it. As such I would need to license the compositions from Zane's family.

I look forward to hearing from you (or any others that may be able to pass this on)

Kind regards
Matt Temple