Steve Dyer is a South African music composer, performer, conceptualiser, director and producer. He is also the great, great, grandson of Emma and Carl Hugo Hahn.
Steve began composing music at 10 and he taught himself to play the guitar at 11. He grew up in Pietermaritzburg, listening to his parents’ collection of Classical, European LPs and to the sounds of the street, maskandi musicians and kwela on the radio. He gained first class honours from Natal University for a Bachelor’s degree in musical performance, majoring in saxophone and flute. He left South Africa for Botswana refusing conscription and became involved in the ‘Symposium for Cultural Resistance’ hosted in Gaborone in 1982. He became part of an exile music scene that included Hugh Masekela and Jonas Gwangwa. Steve moved to Zimbabwe in 1988 and formed the group Southern Freeway. In 1990 he joined the Amandla Cultural Ensemble of the ANC on a 7 week tour to Japan. On this tour he met his future wife Refiloe Mabaso, a performer, dancer and singer with Amandla. Throughout his career Steve has consistently produced music with the other talents surrounding him as well as his own solo works. He played a major role in the Mahube project of 1997, the first substantive Southern African music collaboration. He produced the seminal work ‘Tuku music’ as well as 4 other albums with Oliver Mtukudzi. Steve’s life and work is epitomised by the new world musical ‘Colour me human’ that he conceptualised, directed and performed and which was nominated for 5 Naledi theatre awards: Best ensemble, music score, music director, choreographer, animation/AV. His music is his truth, and through this truth he continually works towards a sentient existence that is inclusive, creative and all encompassing.