PJ Morton puts on piano show for charity

American singer and songwriter PJ Morton at the Wave Theatre on Monday.

It was a night of sing-along songs and raising funds with American singer, songwriter and producer, PJ Morton, on Monday January 30 at the Wave Theatre, at a charity event he organised for Tygerberg Children’s Hospital Trust.

Mr Morton, who is also the keyboardist for band Maroon 5, was in the country this week to perform at the concert, Calabash, at the DHL stadium in Green Point on Wednesday. Another concert will take place in Johannesburg on Saturday.

Supporting artist, violinist Kirsty Bows

Arriving for the festival, Mr Morton said he wanted to do something intimate and special for charity. “We wanted to give back, and when they mentioned Tygerberg (hospital), the cause was amazing, so why not?”

With the help of former Cape Town International Jazz Festival director Billy Domingo, who roped in some favours and recommended the charity, the event was organised and sold out within a few days, according to Mr Domingo.

“We were grateful for all the support. This isn’t for us, it’s for those little kids in the hospital who need care, and the financial support.”

The executive head of paediatrics and child health at Tygerberg Hospital, Professor Regan Solomons, said it was heartening to see all the love and support for the children.

Supporting artist, singer Carlethia

He said the organisers of the event reached out to him because they wanted to do a charity for children. “Tonight, I came totally unprepared, but it was so heartening. The crowd was so involved and the artists were amazing – its goosebump things.”

Professor Solomons said they see thousands of patients in paediatric care at Tygerberg Hospital. “Between us and Red Cross Childrens’ Hospital, we take care of the children in the province and sometimes the continent.”

He said with budgetary constraints and a large staff, which includes about 120 doctors, the department cannot always maintain the top level of equipment to give the children the best care.

He said the funds raised by the Tygerberg Children’s Hospital Trust goes towards getting the best equipment to give the children the best care. Among other equipment, they are raising funds for an echo cardiographic machine, a scope for childrens’ lungs that can be used to sort out issues quicker than usual, and also for proper incubators.

“The tech in health care changes all the time, so we want to offer the children the best.”

Saxophonist Din Vino also supported the show. He is pictured with PJ Morton

As for the show, Mr Morton said it was “amazing”.

“It was intimate – different to what I usually do. I usually have my full band but it was cool to do piano shows because you can really hear the songs, and people were singing along.

“Cape Town has so much talent. Everyone was helping me out.”

Mr Morton said last year, he travelled to South Africa, then to Nigeria and Ghana, which inspired an album he put together while in these countries. He said aside from the tour with Maroon 5, he wanted to focus on the African diaspora.

“Sometimes it is so separated, but when I went from South Africa to Nigeria to Ghana, I felt like there’s a connection that’s being missed and I made an album in all those places and I want to be a connector in a way – collaborate and have a South African song with a Nigerian singer for example, a mixture of these things.”

To get involved or to donate to the Tygerberg Children’s Hospital Trust, visit www.tygerbergchildren.org.za