Andrew Traceys Portrait
Andrew Tracey (b. 5.5.1936, Durban, South Africa) is the son of Hugh Tracey (1903-1977), pioneer in African music research, founder of the African Music Society (1948), the International Library of African Music (1954), and African Musical Instruments Ltd. He was exposed to African music from an early age as he observed his father's research on Chopi xylophone music at the family home in Durban and attended performances of the many traditional African dances Hugh Tracey was documenting at the weekly Sunday afternoon performances held at the dance arenas of the Witswatersrand gold mines.
After attending Durban Prep. High School he was educated in the UK at Charterhouse and Oxford University (MA Social Anthropology, French, German) Upon his return to southern Africa he took part with his father in founding Kwanongoma College of African Music, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe in 1960. His field research on African Music (1961 to date) in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, Uganda, South Africa, and Namibia, focuses on the playing technique of members of the mbira and xylophone families.
Prof. Tracey served as Director of the International Library of African Music and Editor of its journal, African Music from the time of Hugh Tracey's death in 1977 to 2005. During that time he lectured on African music at Universities in South Africa, Zimbabwe, USA, Germany, Portugal, for various schools and societies, TV & radio. He produced numerous publications, recordings, and films on African music, served Chief Adjudicator: S.A. Breweries/S.A. Choral Music Association National Choral Eisteddfod; Adjudicator: Roodepoort International Eisteddfod, Eastern Cape Eisteddfod. Prof. Tracey is widely known for his contributions to education in African music and his tireless enthusiasm for teaching and performing African music.
Tracey's other interests and activities involving performance of music and instrument technology include his early stage career, 1962-1968 Musical director and performer in ‘Wait a Minim', South African stage show which played 7 years in South Africa, Zimbabwe, England, USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia; his passion for steelband music, accomplishments as a pan player and steelband arranger from 1969 to date as Director of the Andrew Tracey Steelband; Director of African Musical Instruments, Grahamstown, manufacturer of African and African-derived musical instruments, where he developed new instruments for manufacture.
Prof. Tracey is a Trustee of the Arts & Culture Trust, South Africa and has been honoured with Ph.D. (Honoris Causa), 1995, Univ of Natal, Durban and the Premier's Arts & Culture Lifetime Achievement Award from the Eastern Cape Government, 2002.