Ottoman Slap CD Launch in Cape Town

Photo credit: Hewitt Wright Creative
Photo credit: Hewitt Wright Creative


ALBUM LAUNCH: Barans Sisha Lounge, Greenmarket Square Thursday 15 October.

Doors open 19h00. (Ottoman Slap performing at 20h00.)

Tickets R100 at Quicket Note Tickets are limited, bookings advised.

NAF Standard Bank Ovation 2015 winners Ottoman Slap will be launching their debut album “Idiomatic” in Cape Town in October. Expect a night of exotic flair. The band`s percussionist James van Minnen says that they have also invited some incredible acts to join them on stage in making this a memorable night: “Staaltjie Visser will be MC’ing for us: he hails from Mr Cat and the Jackal fame and is a fabulous performer. He recently started a storytelling group and is sure to have an anecdote or two to open our imaginations and set our wits on fire. Soma, a truly top-notch fusion bellydance company, will be doing some stunning group choreography on the night, a most fitting visual element to compliment Ottoman Slap‘s music. And Duo Morphire will be treating us to a performance of professional-level fire dancing by Lionel Chanarin and Jesyka Sham.”

Ottoman Slap`s eclectic musical offering includes traditional numbers and adaptations of songs from places such as Romania, Andalusia and Algeria, as well as original compositions influenced by Balkan and Middle Eastern music, with mesmerising Tribal Fusion bellydance as the highlight.

The music video for their song Aquel Ruido has just been released.

The concept of the video is a 7 minute mini movie. Van Minnen says: “We had the great fortune of teaming up with a very talented director, Jon-Luke Lourens, working alongside some incredible crew and cast to make what feels like a truly original piece of Cape Town creativity! Conceived, shot and finished locally (Produced by Direction Films), it felt very special to team up with local professionals and friends alike, to create something truly collaborative which we feel has an edge of quality that would ordinarily have been beyond our means.”

The album features six original compositions and three adaptations of traditional numbers. Van Minnen adds: The following 3 tracks on the album are based on traditional works:

“Como Las Olas was originally a Romanian love song (Pânā Când Nu Te Iubeam) which we translated into Spanish. We adapted musically and wrote lyrics for Raoul’s Waltz which was originally a Yiddish nursery rhyme (Rozhinkes mit Mandlen). Calle del Aire is a traditional song from Spain which we adapted and put to an Arabic rhythm on frame drums.”

The album was recorded by Doug Armstrong (also a member of the band) at the home of some of the band members, under a thatched roof and with plenty of mate tea to keep the energy levels going. Doug says: “We chose to record the album in an environment which captured the idiosyncratic and quirky nature of the band and its music. So of course we ended up in James and Marissa’s attic.” James adds: “This way, we were able to maintain a balance of domestic charm and exotic fancy, recording in amongst the laundry, visits from children, wild bird calls and a touch of load shedding.” The album was mixed and mastered by Simon Ratcliffe of Sound and Motion Studios, in association with Rootspring Productions. 

Ottoman Slap members are:

Raoul Spiegel: saxophone, hulusi and saw.

Doug Armstrong: trumpet.

Simoné Chiara: lead vocals, guitar and percussion.

Marissa Cuenoud van Minnen: Tribal Fusion bellydance, accordion and percussion.

Callan Wolff: double bass.

James van Minnen: mandolin, percussion and hybrid drum kit.

Social media links:





I was transfixed and mesmerised and every cell in my body was rejuvenated by your Art – who needs anti-oxidants!  Heather Young – Ottoman Slap band launch, Cape Town, July 2013

Fantastic – i love mad enthusiasms in all shapes and forms – and this was wonderful.” – Gillian, Alexander Bar Show, Cape Town, February 2015

This band was sensational. I loved every minute of their performance. Highly recommended. “Roxy, Alexander Bar Show, Cape Town, February 2015

Other upcoming shows:

Nederburg’s Red Table in Paarl Thursday 24th September: performance for their Heritage Day lunch, called Lunch with the Foulkes. 12pm R325p/p (including lunch)- booking essential on 021 862 3104.

Villa Pascale, Durbanville Friday 25th September, as well as Friday 4th December. 7:30pm R120.

Camphill Village Music Festival on Saturday 31st October, adults R200, children under 13 R100, children under 4 free.

Soirée in Observatory on Thursday 12th November. Details TBA. Watch Ottoman Slap website and Facebook page for details closer to the time.

Christ Church Constantia Concert Series on Sunday 6th December, 3pm. For bookings contact Jean on 021 794 5051.

  • And to round the end of the year off most excellently, Ottoman Slap will perform for Karoo Art Hotel’s New Year’s Eve party on 31st December 2015. Bookings:
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