The Biography of Robin Levetan.Last updated 25th May 2011

Robin grew up in Cape Town and moved to England to study architecture – graduating from The Architectural Association, London in 1980. Returning to teach at The University of Cape Town, he played keyboards and sang in several New Wave bands before linking up with Ian and Peter Cohen (currently the drummer with Freshly Ground), Dan Heymann and Tom Fox to form Bright Blue in 1983. The band’s uniquely infectious blend of pop, rock and mbaqanga reflected the paradox of being upbeat in a very dark time and soon established them at the forefront of the progressive music scene. Robin’s song-writing set the tone for the band’s eponymously named debut album and he also contributed songs to the second album, “The Rising Tide” after remaining in Cape Town when the band moved to Johannesburg. In 2001 the band released a compilation CD, “Every now and then” including Dan Heymann’s “Weeping”, a song that has earned a permanent place in South Africa’s musical iconography. In 2009, the five original members of Bright Blue were reunited for a memorable one-off performance at Spier amphitheatre as part of The End Conscription Campaign’s 25 year celebrations.

Robin’s writing extended to the theatre and his highly acclaimed counter-culture play, “Skyf” starring Sean Taylor, broke attendance records at The Baxter and Market Theatres in the 1980’s. The play was revived as part of the Baxter’s 25th year celebratory season. His second play “Mrs Kaplan and the Witchdoctor” was also performed at The Baxter and was later staged at various festivals in Eastern Europe by students at UCT.

Whilst concentrating on his careers in architecture, property development and the hobby industry, Robin has continued to play music and, in 2009, teamed up with producer / musician, Roger Bashew, who had moved his studio from Los Angeles to Cape Town. The pair laid down tracks for a number of songs that Robin had been writing over the past few years. With vocal input from his daughter, Jessica and the distinctive touch of Dan Heymann on piano, Robin’s project started to take shape and finally took off when the rhythm section of Roger (bass), Willem Moller (guitar) and Paul Tizzard (drums) settled in for two intense weeks at Paris Studios in Fish Hoek. Sessions followed with Ian Cohen (bass), Selwyn Schneider (keyboards, vocals), Tonia Selley (vocals, percussion), Shaggy Scheepers (organ, melodica) and Buddy Wells (sax). The resulting 12 track album, “A Far Country” was mixed by Keith Farquharson and mastered at Sterling in New York by Chris Athens.

Robin is married to the artist, Orly Rabinowitz and has two daughters, Carly and Jessica.