A Trip To The Bush

A Panoramic view over the vast plains at Ntsiri

Wrapped in my cloak on a cool evening, the only one we had!
Hello All. I have just returned from a glorious seven day break in Ntsiri.

I am pleased to announce that the digital release on PledgeMusic for The Sound of You album is almost set to fly, but I am sure Jan Pulsford will be telling more about that soon! There's still time to order your copy in advance HERE!

Frog on Wood
Hello Hyena
Temperatures in the Limpopo region mostly averaged between 28 and 33degs Celsius, but it was wonderful to soak up the silence and enjoy creatures great and small.

There are no fences between the Kruger Park and neighbouring game farms like Ntsiri, so you could wake up in the morning and find lions or elephants about! We received nightly visits from a hyena or two as they could smell whatever it was we were cooking on the fire.

Some photos were taken by my friend Marie

and some were taken by me
Sunset Wisps
Can you see the animals in the fire below?

Another beautiful sunset at Ingwe Dam
Baby Elly
An Impala Bambi moment with newborns
Bushy Piggies

A superb set of horns on this adult Kudu bull
Another lovely sunset at the dam

The final Countdown . . .

Dear Friends

We are a few hours away from knowing if we will be able to afford to record the Sound of You Songbook 

Thanks for all your support so far! Once we get funded we are planning to record the album in July and you can get an exclusive digital download as soon after that as possible.

There are two ways you can help us do it - 

donate directly using PAYPAL

The minimum to secure a download is $10
and other rewards like cards, songbooks, music sheets etc. can be viewed on the pledge music site

The more you pledge the more you get!

Meanwhile all pledgers get a personal thank you from me - a copy of Shapeshifter - so far 90 people have downloaded it so hope you are enjoying that extra music whilst you wait for the Sound of You.

Today is the last day to be part of the crowd funding campaign for the Sound of You Songbook - a collection of beautiful, melodic songs in the jazz tradition with a sound that stretches from New York to London to Johannesburg and beyond - sung by Estelle Kokot and written by jazz legend Chico Freeman and composer/lyricist Jan Pulsford.

thanks again


Join us on Facebook and see it happen

Touching Down, 82% Funded & Not Long To Go! Read On...

I want to say a MASSIVE THANK YOU
to all you fabulous Pledger's who have come to the party and supported The Sound of You. Without you we would not be on 82%!

We are so very close now.. all we need is another 18% to reach our goal then we can finally get to record this album!

If you haven’t jumped on board yet, please do go and make a pledge, because every little bit helps and every single pledge is appreciated.

South Africa is my home from home, but after being away for more than 3 months it’s good to be waking up in my own bed for a change!

 After a fantastic time in South Africa, I can't wait to get into the studio to get The Sound of You recorded! The new music was very well received and I am excited about getting the CD out there, to YOU!
Our first Sound of You gig was at The Crypt in St Georges Cathedral followed by two nights at intimate listening venue Straight No Chaser. A highlight of the Cape Town run, was being invited by Martin Myers to speak at the Music Exchange Conference 2014.

Three lovely starter gigs kicking off in Cape Town, next stop Johannesburg. Herbie and I flew the following day and Kevin joined us on the 19th of March.

Photo taken at The Orbit Jazz Club on the 19th of March 2014 by Siphiwe Mhlambi

We performed the first ever Wednesday night on the 19th of March at brand new state of the art jazz club, The Orbit. The Sound of You was up and running and in Gauteng! Back over the Easter weekend on the 19th of April with Herbie Tsoaeli on bass, Prince Lengoasa on trumpet and flugelhorn and Tumi Mogorosi on drums, we had a ball!
Photo of me and Herbie Tsoaeli by Jan Van Heerden

Prince Lengoasa photo by Jan Van Heerden
Photo of Tumi Mogorosi by Jan Van Heerden


The Afrikan Freedom Station... one solo performance and one duo gig with Herbie next.I love Steve Mokwena's place. This artist, historian, film-maker and cultural activist has captured something that can't really be put down in words. One thing is for sure though, it's all about being yourself and enjoying the love!

Afrikan Freedom Station  - the room at the back

Photo by Bobby Marie taken at Afrikan Freedom Station
After a performance for Jazz & African Music Nights at The State Theatre we did a special evening at The Lucky Bean in Melville. Every gig was a highlight for me, but our trip to Durban to celebrate 20 years of democracy in South Africa at The Rainbow Restaurant in Pinetown tops the list.

Photo of Herbie Tsoaeli at The Rainbow by Mzi van der Mtola
Photo of Kevin Gibson at The Rainbow by Mzi van der Mtola
Photo at The Rainbow by Mzi van der Mtola

We raised enough at the door for at least two cleft palate operations for Operation Smile and it was a joy to do something for this very worthy cause. Owners Neil and Nicola Comfort run a tight ship, but the vibe here on a Sunday afternoon is unmatched.
Thanks goes to Concerts SA and SA Breweries for taking care of the costs.

With Mamsie at The Rainbow
Taking a bow at UKZN. Photo by Mamsie Ntshangase
The Sound of You South African Tour Part 1 ended with a vocal workshop and a concert at the University of Kwa Zulu Natal (UKZN).

Here are some memorable moments in the Dinokeng Game Reserve taken by my friend Marie Vlok.
Dinokeng Sunset

I think that fence gives you a false sense of security.
I found out after I had been sitting there for an hour having my morning coffee and enjoying these beauties who had come to drink, that they think nothing of backing into an electric fence and charging.

This young fellow had me backing away...

Dinokeng Sunrise in the bush. Photo by Marie Vlok

 Quality time with Einstein the parrot in Muizenberg Cape Town

Plans are in the pipeline for a follow up tour in October in South Africa and two concerts are
already confirmed. In the meantime, there's still time to make a pledge
so please click  HERE! Thank you for reading!
Hugs and love xx Estelle

The Shapeshifter and The Sound of You

Estelle is in the bush - a well deserved few days away from her hectic South African schedule!
Chico is in the studio

and Jan is trying to find new ways to get more promotion and pledges for 'The Sound of You'.
She just finished her latest ambient music world album and decided to donate it as a thank you to pledgers and an incentive to others who still haven't taken the plunge. . . . 

Jan writes … 

'Did everyone who pledged for the Sound of You get the gift of a download code for my album 'SHaPeSHiFTeR'?
I do hope so - any problems let me know - hope you're all enjoying it!

'The Sound of You' has  two weeks left to get the remaining money to record the album ..  you've read the story here - now, if you haven't already, why not donate a minimum of $10 ( the price of a coffee and cake) and you will help pay for the recording PLUS get the gift of my album 'SHaPeSHiFTeR' as an exclusive extra download. 

You could always make the two albums a gift to someone - just let me know in the checkout . . Living in the digital age means I could send it anywhere as soon as I get your donation! In fact I'll throw in a digital greeting card if you like . . . Yes, you guessed, I REALLY want Estelle to record the Sound of You songbook!

If you don't want to bother with registering on pledge music just PAYPAL $10 or more <<< HERE >>>  and I'll send you the download codes and all the updates plus a digital download of the Sound of You as soon as it is recorded … It's a bit like paying for one album in advance and getting another to listen to while the other gets made .... 
Sounds like a deal to me!

We're so close …
Thanks for all your support"


PS. Want the CD , Songbook or more? visit

Chapter 14: Estelle sings a Rainbow

It's Wednesday and all the news and pics for the Sound of You Tour are on Estelle's web pages so here are links to her wonderful South African updates.

'Congratulations Estelle! It seems you are having a fantastic time as the audience and reviews attest 
We look forward to joining you very soon to record the Sound of You album'

By the way dear reader, have you pledged yet?

Chapter 13 : The Sound of You keeps humming ...

Estelle is still touring South Africa - it has been a fantastic couple of months!

She updates daily on her Facebook page

Chico and Jan are preparing for recording the songbook
and working extremely hard to make this happen

Read the story of The Sound of You - updated every Wednesday

We have a few weeks left on plegemusic. So if you haven't already now's your chance to get involved.

Thanks for your support!
Estelle, Jan and Chico

Chapter 12: The story of The Sound of You continues . . .

Afrikan Freedom Station - Estelle with Kwena, Herbie and Lebo
Hi everyone . . The story of The Sound of You continues  . . .

Estelle is still wowing audiences in South Africa with her fantastic shows. The reaction has been wonderful and Herbie Tsoaeli and Kevin Gibson have been backing her for most of the tour. 

She has also been doing solo voice and piano gigs and now a special one this week at the Orbit in Johannesburg.

Chico has been in the studio recording with his trio in Germany and sends a video postcard from there on YouTube.

Jan took her multimedia show to the National Portrait Gallery in London and continues preparing music and film for her next show at the weekend.

What busy springtime bees we are!

But of course our main thing is plotting and planning with PledgeMusic to get this songbook recorded!

And we shall … watch this space! Thanks for all your support - we couldn't do it without you!

Chapter 11: Back and forward to 'The Sound of You'

Jan writes . . .
and now back and forward to 'The Sound of You'
This is a songbook written with jazz great Chico Freeman and we are lucky enough to have Estelle Kokot singing and interperating the collection.
Estelle is currently touring South Africa with Herbie Tsoaeli and Kevin Gibson and we are hoping to join her soon to record the album

Being digital and musical pioneers we partnered with Pledge Music to crowd fund the album. It's been quite an adventure, one documented in the blog 'The Sound of You'

Hope you will follow and join us on our journey - Our first Blogbook was called 'The Gathering' and the 16 chapters tell the story of us meeting and getting the album ready. 
Book two, which is where we are now is 'The Alchemy' - turning our ideas into gold - The hardest part for any creative person . . The story continues

Chapter 10: The next Stage

Deadlines are good to get you to the next stage and The Sound of You has got there.

Our partnership with PledgeMusic has been going really well and we are extending the campaign to the end of May.

We are having a few, well deserved days off and will be back next week with more updates and news of the recording, gigs and pledgers' exclusive downloads etc.

As always thanks for your support - we couldn't have got this far without you - the best is yet to come!

The Sound of You

Chapter 9 The last full moon of summer and Pledge Music updates

Chico talks . . .
about the Sound of You and the Last Full MooN of Summer exclusively for Blog readers
A big thank you for your support - we couldn't do this without you!

The Sound of You

Jan writes ...
Being a pioneer is both exciting and nerve-wracking! 
Crowd funding is a new idea and we creators and artists have lately had to become marketeers too.
Seven weeks ago we partnered with PledgeMusic to raise the money to record the album 'The Sound of You'
Estelle went off to South Africa to tour and promote, Jan's life turned into even more of an online frenzy than before and Chico dived into a new world of social media and online interaction!

Here's the list of products we are selling on PledgeMusic to raise the money to record the songbook (all prices in USD)
Remember you don't have to buy at the time just pledge to buy when we reach our goal.

$10 gets you a digital download and is available for all pledgers!
CD - an old fashioned (and preferred way of listening to music)
Signed CD (one day could be a collector's item?)
Signed Lead Sheet (another collector's item?)
Demos from Estelle (Limited edition) (already a collector's item)
Card series - signed series of 6 from JaN PuLSFoRD
E-songbook (three options including name in liner notes)
Skype Prodshop - talk to Chico and Jan about music and production
Skype SongShop - a lesson from Estelle on singing
Skype Concert - a private concert from Estelle
Serenade - a private concert from Estelle with a signed CD, pack of cards and poster
Executive Producer - Your name on the album, a signed CD, photo, Cards plus a limited print edition of the Sound of You Songbook
Meeting with Estelle - a cup of coffee, slice of cake and a limited print edition of the Sound of You Songbook with signed CD and poster!
A song for you - Chico, Jan and Estelle will write and record a song especially for you!
An instrumental for you - Chico records a special trio version of a Sound of You track
Concerts (two options) including one with Chico Freeman and a host of goodies.

We are posting a lot of updates on the pledge music site plus the blog and youtube channel. 
Special mp3s from Chico and Estelle plus Jan's new SHaPeSHiFTeR album available next weekend for all pledgers.

Phew! Looking forward to recording the music of the Sound of You very soon

Thanks everyone!
Estelle, Jan, Chico xxx

Ch:8 - Closer to the Pledge

The deadline of April 4th approaches. 
We are getting close . . . A big thank you to those who have followed us on this brave adventure  and believed in us by pledging to buy the album and songbook.

Crowdfunding is the new way of paying for the recording of music where the listener becomes part of the making of an album. It's not too late to jump aboard!

Along with a digital download you could become an executive producer, have your name on the album, have a song written for you, host a concert in your house or venue, dinner date with Estelle! Just about anything your heart desires - from $10 (USD) to $15k


Estelle is in South Africa touring 'The Sound of You' with Kevin Gibson and Herbie Tsoaeli
Jan is busy posting videos, blogs, updates etc. and preparing for the last two weeks of the pledge music campaign
Chico is strategising and preparing for the recording which, thanks to your support, will be happening in the studio 14th April

We have special downloads available for those who pledge
Chico is offering some mp3s of his recordings
JaN is offering a complete aMBieNT MuSiC WoRLD album download at the end of the pledge campaign!
Estelle is sending exclusive rehearsal iPhone recordings, pictures and messages from South Africa

The Sound of You
Read the story here
Listen and see
then Pledge

Thanks for your support
Estelle, Jan and Chico

Ch:7 - Three weeks left on the PledgeMusic Campaign - we are 23% of the way there!

Jan writes …
Can hardly believe we only have another three weeks left on the PledgeMusic Campaign and we are 23% of the way there!

A BIG thank you to our friends who have supported us so far. We can't do this recording without you!

Estelle starts her 'The Sound of You' performances this evening in Capetown with Herbie Tsoaeli and Kevin Gibson.

Next Tuesday JaN and Chico will be talking about the project live on the Sound of You - You Tube Channel so do join them at 8PM UK timehttps://www.youtube.com/user/thesoundofyou3 and on http://radiojana.com

Also have a look at some of the videos from our journey on the NEW YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/user/thesoundofyou3
We'll FB and tweet as others get archived.

This week on PledgeMusic we have a special offer from Chico - if you pledge you get one of his recordings - 'Ballad for Hakima' is a beautiful lyrical piece from his album 'Tangents' and is the basis for the song "Times in my life" as performed by Estelle Kokot on the Sound of You album which, with your help. we will be recording next month.

A digital download of The Sound of You, ordered in advance costs $10 - so not a bad deal! Of course if you want more it's there on our PledgeMusic page - the more you pledge the more we can record! From $10 - $15K - songbooks, greeting cards, private concerts, Skype chats, executive producer, and even a song written and recorded especially for you or a loved one . . . Check it out ...

The next three weeks will be full on as we work to make our target so watch this space!

Thanks again

Estelle, Jan and Chico.


Chapter 6 - Close to the Pledge

One Month into our campaign to get the Sound of You recorded! Thanks to all our friends/patrons of the arts who have promised to buy songbooks, cards, demos, signed lead sheets and CDs. 
Everyone who pledges gets a digital download of the Sound of You album too !!

Jan is also offering . . .  A set of exclusive greeting cards and a songbook including the music with her pictures and lyrics . . .
PLUS everyone who pledges gets a copy of her latest aMBieNT MuSIC WoRLD album on March 15th!  More details soon of that and the on line fundraiser on http://radiojana.com
. . . She also needs to get somewhere warm

Estelle is touring South Africa . . .
and as part of the PledgeMusic rewards has also offered an album of never heard before demos, a Vocal Workshop, a chance to meet, plus a variety of intimate house concerts! What an opportunity!

Chico Freeman wants to play . . .an exclusive concert for pledgers and also the chance to chat to him and Jan via Skype about their musical lives and experiences. He is also giving his fans the opportunity to have a song written for them along with the chance to become an executive producer of the project! 

From $10 to $15k . . . There is something for everyone!
Come on don't be shy - just pledging the price of a couple of coffees will help but of course the more you pledge the more we can afford to record and finish the project!

Any questions don't hesitate to ask . . .

Thanks everyone for being part of The Sound of You