WATCH THE STORY OF A SOUTH AFRICAN MUSICIAN
WHO PLAYED STADIUMS WITH THE DAVE MATTHEWS BAND
Today we kick off a new column called "Sunday Cinema" in which we'll present an amazing
concert film or documentary for your viewing pleasure.
In 1998 the Dave Matthews Band invited a very special guest to perform with
them at a few stadium shows. "Big Voice Jack" Lerole was a South African penny whistle
player who influenced a slew of South African musicians that came after him and helped
expose the country's "township music" to a wide audience. Lerole earned his nickname for
unique style of singing known as "groaning." Though the groaning brought him mass
recognition, it stripped his vocal chords.
Matthews met Big Jack on a tour of South Africa and knew not only would his crowd enjoy
Lerole's music, but that Lerole would enjoy the experience of performing before DMB's
massive audience. Big Jack wound up sitting in with the Dave Matthews Band on a number of
DMB songs as well as his own "Back To Alexandra." Filmmaker Jonathan Dorfman used the name
of Big Jack's song as the title of a documentary about Lerole's life in South Africa and
America with Matthews and his band. This 45-minute feature shows a wide-eyed "Big Jack"
soaking up every minute of his crazy experience performing before tens of thousands of
fans and being driven to gigs by police escort. We also get to see Dave Matthews teach
Lerole songs such as "One Sweet World" and Big Jack return the favor on "Back To
Alexandra," which DMB and their guest played at Giants Stadium.
Thanks to YouTuber OneEyedWilly5 we can watch "Back To Alexandra" in its entirety.
Sadly, "Big Jack" Lerole passed away in 2003.