Abdullah Ibrahim was born as Adolph Johannes Brand on 9 October, 1934 in Cape Town. A South African pianist and composer formerly known as Dollar Brand. His music reflects many of the musical influences of his childhood in the multicultural port areas of Cape Town, ranging from traditional African songs to the gospel of the AME Church and ragas, to more modern jazz and other Western styles.
Dollar is considered the leading figure in the subgenre of Cape jazz. Within jazz, his music particularly reflects the influence of Thelonious Monk and Duke Ellington. He is known especially for “Mannenberg”, a jazz piece that became a notable anti-apartheid anthem.
Ibrahim has written the soundtracks for a number of films, including Chocolat, No Fear, No Die and many others.
On 25 November 1989 he made an extended appearance in the British Channel 4 television discussion series After Dark alongside Zoe Wicomb, Donald Woods, Shula Marks and others. Ibrahim also took part in the 2002 documentary Amandla!: A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony, where he and others recalled the days of apartheid; the film’s subtitle derives from observations made by Ibrahim.