He turned 79 on October 9, 2013. That fact that someone has experienced a lot by this age goes without saying. However, this applies more for some people than for others. Abdullah Ibrahim can justifiably claim that he has not only experienced history, but also shaped it. Born in the middle of South African apartheid in 1934, he started to play piano in his native country under the name "Dollar Brand" at that time; his name at birth was "Adolphe Johannes Brand". He soon became known in South Africa, which was more dangerous than helpful as a member of a majority terrorized by a minority. He left his country in 1962, and Duke Ellington arranged for him to go to America a few years later. An international career started after that, which only few living jazz musicians can look back on. That fact that he played at the inauguration of Nelson Mandela after the abolition of apartheid was only logical.