All About Jazz

Home » Musicians » Ralston van der Schyff

Ralston van der Schyff

Introducing one of South Africa's finest musicians, jazz pianist and entertainer Ralston van der Schyff has developed his own unique style of piano playing.

His reputation for panache and sophistication is echoed by many audiences who have enjoyed listening to him play.

Throughout his 31 years of playing the piano, Ralston has learnt how to produce just the right sound that is easy on the ear. Beneath his selection of rich jazz harmony and improvisation, lie subtle nuances of classical melodies and patterns, transforming each song into an inspiring musical journey.

First taught by his father at age around 7, he then went on to pursue formal classical training at the Battswood College of Music in 1986 at the age of 10 through till 1994. During those 8 years he also enrolled in the Royal Schools of Music examinations through till grade 8, obtaining distinctions in some of his practical examinations. In 1995, he started jazz studies with George Werner at the Jazz Workshop, after which he then pursued a business degree. In 2001, he resumed his jazz studies at the Jazz Workshop with legendary jazz pianist and teacher Mertyn Barrow.

Ralston plays a variety of styles. Although mainly specializing in jazz, being anything from swing, blues, funk, Latin, African and any other sub-branches of jazz, his repertoire expands into other styles including rock, pop, contemporary, country, R&B, gospel and also classical. His years of experience, technical musical ability and passion enable him to play in any format, ranging from solo piano, duets (accompanying voice or instrument), trios to bands, as a pianist, keyboardist and vocalist.

Read more
”Then with the help of keyboardist extraordinaire Ralston van der Schyff, goes on to prove it with 'Song Sung Blue', melding into 'Sweet Caroline' - much to the delight of the audience who sang along lustily on opening night.... The aforementioned Van der Schyff is a highlight with the way he lovingly caresses those romantic notes out of the keys.” [Bianca Coleman, Cape Argus Tonight - Aug 06, 2004]

”Ralston van der Schyff se klavierspel in 'Swart Koffee' is onverbeterlik...” [english translation: Ralston van der Schyff's playing in 'Black Coffee' couldn't have been played any better...]” [Karen Breytenbach, Independent Newspapers - Apr 10, 2004]

”...Van der Schyff se vingers wat rats oor die klawers hop - dit is die hart van swing.” [english translation: “...Van der Schyff's fingers that effortlessly hop over the keys - that is the heart of swing.”] [Marlize van Taak, Independent Newspapers - Aug 10, 2004]

”The trio of musicians, led by Ralston van der Schyff on piano, are a revelation together...They handle all the songs, not only with panache but with an unselfconscious flair that provides the backbone to the evening

Read more

View More Photos

Discography

Watch

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.