by William Aura
In the world of music, there are those who perform, and then there are those who transcend—who become a force of inspiration. Clarence Bekker is undeniably one of the latter. As a dear friend and cherished member of the Playing For Change family, Clarence's journey is a testament to the transformative power of music.
His story is one of struggle and triumph, a path that many can relate to. Clarence is not just a performer; he's a healer, channeling life into cathartic, joyous performances.
His band, a collection of stellar musicians, adds another layer of brilliance to his performances, featuring Francisco ‘Rubio’ Guisado on guitar, Charlie Cuevas on bass, Carlos Lopez on drums, David ‘Davo’ Fester on percussion, with special guests Eric Stang on keyboards and Clayton Doley on the hammond organ.
They're not just accompanists - they're collaborators who breathe life into Clarence's music. It's a collective effort, and when they take the stage, magic unfolds.
What sets Clarence apart is not just his exceptional talent but his ability to command attention and stir the deepest emotions. It's not uncommon for him to step on stage and hold the entire room in rapt attention without even requiring a microphone.
We recently traveled together documenting his activities at Byron Bay Bluesfest 2023, where the band’s powerhouse rendition of Radiohead's "Creep" left audiences spellbound.
What's remarkable is that despite this song being written decades ago, its message remains relevant in today's world. “Creep” is a timeless anthem for those who have ever felt like they don't quite fit in.
The first time Clarence let loose on the track at rehearsal, the hair on the back of my neck stood up. It was a Revelation - a testament to the power of music to touch our soul. The song reminds us that we are all on this journey together - working through life's challenges and growing collectively.
At showtime, in the midst of a roaring crowd, Clarence poured his heart into the performance like a man possessed. You could feel the audience's emotions swell. It was as if he had reached deep into the human experience and found the perfect expression.
Clarence Bekker Band - “Creep” Cover (Radiohead) Live At Byron Bay Bluesfest 2023
In gratitude to our allies, a heartfelt thank you to Peter Noble, Maurie Stang and the great team at Byron Bay Bluesfest for their deep support.
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