Playing With Fire Ensemble

Location: Based in Cape Town


Artist Info


Playing With Fire offers various ensembles, from Duo to Quartet.

Jazz Duo / Trio / Quartet

The Jazz Ensemble makes for pleasantly smooth background music: essentially saxophone/clarinet backed by a string rhythm section (guitar and / or double bass). This ensembles favours South African pieces such as Judith Sepuma's “A Cry, a Smile, a Dance” and Johnathan Butler's “Second Avenue”.

French Duo / Trio / Quartet (also Mediterranean & Gypsy)

This duo, trio or quartet brings Paris and the steps of Montmartre to your celebration. Imagine yourself on the banks of the Seine as you hear this fabulous group capture the essence of romantic French music. Andre plays a French musette accordion, and the clarinet, violin and double bass are age-old partners. The group is a listed service provider to La Motte in Franschhoek.

Balkan Klezmer Band

This band sizzles with the infectious rhythms of the Balkan Peninsula, Turkey, Lithuania and middle Eastern Europe. A founder band of Cape Town's Balkanology parties (with thirteen musicians on stage) the band now operates as a quartet or quintet and makes every party a success.

Notable venues

  • Mount Nelson
  • Cape Sun
  • Cape Grace
  • Vineyard Hotel
  • Lord Charles Hotel
  • Table Bay Hotel
  • Groot Constantia
  • Zevenwacht
  • Klein Verwacht
  • Mont Destin
  • KWV
  • Nederburg
  • V & A Waterfront
  • BMW Pavilion
  • Lanzerac
  • Spier
  • Morgenhof
  • Suikerbossie
  • Bellingham
  • Steenberg Estate
  • Kirstenbosch
  • Devon Valley Hotel
  • Vrede en Lust
  • the J & B Met
  • Parliament


Playing With Fire operates with a line-up of excellent contributing players, each bringing his / her own particular skill to the group.  Exact line-up varies depending on availability, ensemble type booked and event-specific requirements.

Matthew Reid (Sax/Clarinet)

MatMatthew, winner of the SASOL Music Prize in 1986, has been playing the clarinet for thirty years. Apart from performing at functions, he is a recitalist of serious music, much of which is often heard on Fine Music Radio. He has recorded a concerto with orchestra by Peter Klatzow on CD, and appeared as a soloist with several of the orchestras in the country. He also runs a Klezmer and Balkan Band.

Keith Tabisher (Guitar)

With a B.Mus from UCT, Keith has been burning solos on his guitar for over thirty years. His versatility enables him to entertain audiences from across the board with his awesome improvisatory skills. He currently performs with musicians from different backgrounds, covering various genres. 

Kerryn Torrance (Violin)

Kerryn has a B.Mus from the University of Stellenbosch and studied music therapy at a post graduate level. She also plays in a popular violin/guitar duo called “Take Two”.

Jacek Domagala (Violin)

This Polish violinist is known in Cape Town for his awesome technique and the sweet sounds he produces. Jacek obtained his Masters Degree in Wroclaw Music and is now a member of the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra. He is also a well known and passionate freelancing violinist.

Pieter van Zyl (Accordion)

Pieter is one of those multi-talented artists who can do so many things well. He turns his pianistic skills easily to the accordion. Pieter's music qualifications include a B.Mus-degree (US) and M.Mus-degree (UPE) as well as Performer's Licentiates from UNISA and Royal Schools. As solo pianist he has performed throughout South Africa, in London and California. Recent chamber music recitals include those with the Vent Frais Trio as well as performances with Matthew Reid (clarinet) at most of the major South African arts festivals.

Andre van Vuuren (Accordion)

Andre, who plays the Musette accordion, is a uniquely talented player who makes the accordion skip and dance like a true French accordioniste. André was a pianist, accordionist and arranger in the South African Defence Force Entertainment Unit for many years. Many of South Africa’s top artists, including Mynie Grove, Lance James and Clive Bruce have invited André to perform with them on several occasions. During the Bloemfontein Volksblad Kunstefees 2006 he performed in the award winning production Altyd Jonker, a show based on the life of South African poet, Ingrid Jonker. In the same year he was also invited to perform at the launch of South Africa’s first ever Bollywood film production in South Africa. In Cape Town he has performed at almost all of its main venues, and he has performed at more than 1600 corporate events, festivals, private functions and concerts countrywide.

Dave Ridgway (Double Bass)

Dave has one of those enviable long-standing reputations in the gigging business in Cape Town. He has played with everyone and has played in anything worth talking about, including the international shows “Chicago”, “Rent”, “JC Superstar” and “Queen”.

Wesley Rustin (Double Bass)

Wesley's reputation, energy, enthusiasm and skill on the double bass is truly legendary.

Cheryl de Havilland (Cello)

Cheryl plays a rich mellow cello, and specialises in ensembles playing where she can double as classical and light jazzy playing. London born, she played in Pretoria and Cape Town orchestras before starting a successful business as a freelance player. Cheryl has extensive experience playing chamber music and is a member of the cello sextet I Grande Violoncellisti. She has given concerts in London, the Netherlands, Germany, Chile, the Canaries and China, as well as at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival and extensively in the Western Cape. She has played for artists such as Pavorotti, Josh Groban, Jimmy Dludlu and many others. Cheryl is also an established cello teacher and has studied jazz on the cello at UCT.

Client Feedback

A big thank you to both you and Matthew! They really were a wonderful addition to pre-drinks and their French style and all round “attitude” was amazing – you could have sworn they were French! The couple were thrilled, as were we.
Kate Rawbone, Wedding Concepts

Photo Gallery

Sound Clips


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Typical Budget for Playing With Fire Ensemble is
R7000 - R21250.


Submit a booking enquiry directly with Playing With Fire Ensemble, and the Artist or their manager / representative will be in touch with you soon!


Should you be unsure about which acts to enquire with, you can choose to SEND GIGSTER YOUR EVENT DETAILS and we will forward your enquiry to up to 5 suitable acts.

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