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10 December 2010


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Sunday brunch at South African winery restaurants is usually a staid affair with music serving as a pleasant background. One Sunday at a Constantia winery the Tony Schilder trio was playing quiet music for diners under the huge old camphor trees. When they segued into a gently heated version of "Ndi Thanda Ilanga" the children at the table of a small group of Swedish tourists wandered up to the front of the trio and started dancing. A couple of waitresses moved in to playfully dance with the children and were soon joined by the young mothers of the children. When the trio launched into "Montreal", several members of the staff started quietly bopping along off to the side and the Swedish mothers gestured for them to join in. The young restaurant manager who looked uncertain and hesitant finally shrugged and nodded permission for the staff to join in. For the rest of the set the trio served up dance music and Schilder's face glowed in mischievous delight as he temporarily turned sopoforic Constantia into a pale version of a township Sunday brunch.


That's a beautiful story. Just beautiful. It says to much about Tony and about what his music meant to people.

Though I shared a large part of my life with Vincent, Tony Schilder was always my favourite pianist - his "Montreal" will live on in the hearts and minds of Capetonians who danced to this tune in the apartheid 80's.

Rest in peace Tony and thanks for the memories.


I have had the great pleasure of knowing the late great Tony Schilder during his Montreal days as i was a regular at the club then later in life when Tony moved to Sun City (1990) i was working there at the time we had a agreement he would teach me to play the piano and i would teach him to cook (I was chef de cuisine at the time ) well i still cant play the piano however we did a lot of cooking and eating we made some fantastic food and had incredible party’s as food and music make a great pairing rest in peace my friend we will carry on cooking one day
Owen Jullies

Thank you very much for your comments, Owen. That's a side of Tony that few people knew.


Does anybody know where I can download Tony's amazing song "At Montreal"?


You're right, Grant, it's a great song, but I don't know of any place to buy a download. Maybe someone else can help.

@ Grant:

It's available as an mp3 at Amazon in the collection Tony Schilder Trio.

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