Hennie Bekker is an award winning, multi-platinum selling musician whose eclectic career spans decades, continents, generations and genres. Best known for his New Age sound on the Solitudes, Kaleidoscopes and Hennie Bekker’s Tranquility album series, he was also a creative force behind BKS, one of Canada’s most successful techno/dance bands.
Bekker was raised in Mufulira, a Zambian copper mining town 10 miles south of the Congo border. In those early years, he was captivated by the symphonic sounds of the African wilderness, the haunting harmonies of tribal chanting and the rhythmic dialogue of drummers communicating between camps at sundown. Bekker is a self-taught pianist who began playing music at a young age. He spent eight years performing with various bands throughout Zambia, South Africa, Congo and Zimbabwe, finally settling in Johannesburg, South Africa.
There he formed several bands bearing his name, and his success as a musician and band leader elevated him to become the musical director for Gallo, one of South Africa’s largest record companies, and later for Teal (a Polygram company). Bekker went on to produce and arrange countless works for well-known South African artists. He also released a handful of solo albums on various record labels including His Master’s Voice, EMI and Gallo.
In 1979, Bekker took his skills to London, England, where he, along with producer Emil Zoghby, arranged, conducted and co-produced albums for such notable artists as Freddie Cole, Magna Carta and Stanley Black. He returned to South Africa in 1980, adding film scores, music for television, radio and hundreds of commercials to his list of career accomplishments.
In 1987, Bekker emigrated to Canada. A steady stream of commercial and stock-music work led him to SolitudesTM, where he composed ambient melodies to compliment Dan Gibson’s nature sounds. Bekker composed and performed the music on the first fourteen Solitudes – Exploring Nature With Music albums, a highly successful series that has sold gold, platinum, double and triple platinum volumes.
Having established himself as a top Environmental / New Age composer, Bekker went on to compose, arrange and produce a solo series of soothing, meditative, nature inspired albums. In the Kaleidoscopes and Hennie Bekker’s Tranquility series, he applied his signature style to original songs that captured the essence of moods, memories and seasons, and incorporated his unique interpretations of familiar classics, carols and lullabies on various albums. His renowned African Tapestries series pays homage to his homeland and is a masterful fusion of New Age and World music interwoven with the diverse sounds of the African wilderness.
Bekker’s versatility was demonstrated yet again by his innovative techno work with the band BKS, which produced a string of progressive hits popular in the contemporary club scene. Collaborating with Greg Kavanagh and Chris Sheppard, Bekker and his electronic wizardry struck a chord with DJs and the youth market as they toured North America and climbed the Billboard dance charts. Among other accolades, BKS’s Astroplane won the 1997 Juno award for best dance recording.
Into The Future
Bekker is a master of musical technology, using the full resources of his state-of-the-art studio to blend, stretch, layer and enhance his core sounds. He is a prolific professional who is constantly creating, exploring and recording auditory portraits that captivate a wide audience. Be it a solo or collaborative effort, an original or interpretive piece, a conventional or inventive track, Bekker’s artistry will continue to inspire worldwide.