Karoo Kitaar Blues


Directed By: Liza Key
Produced By: Philip Key
Released : 2004
Duration: 90 min

Karoo Kitaar Blues follows South African songwriter David Kramer and slide guitarist Hannes Coetzee into remote regions of South Africa on their quest to find musicians who play an almost forgotten folk music. The film documents their journey into the harsh and arid landscape of Namaqualand and the Great Karoo interweaving musical performance and interviews with violinists, guitarists, piano accordionists and mouth organ players who play what Kramer describes as Karoo Blues.


Little is known of the origins of the music. It is the music of shepherds and sheep shearers who are descendents of the original inhabitants of these semi – desert areas – the Khoi or more correctly, the Quena. This music has probably evolved in much the same way as the Afrikaans language that the musicians speak – a blend of indigenous and colonial influences.


By the end of the journey nine musicians are invited to Cape Town where they record some of their songs and perform to packed houses and great acclaim at the Baxter Theatre Centre.

“Karoo Kitaar Blues is an extraordinary record of a music that is dying out and a moving tribute to the people who play it” – IDFA 2003