With Ibrahim Khalil Shihab & Ramon Alexander

Chris Schilder (now known as Ibrahim Khalil Shihab) is a former member of South Africa’s first multi-radial music group Pacific Express. He was pianist and songwriter of multiple hits during his time as member of this music group. He released one album “Spring” which was regarded as a jazz gem in the South African history of jazz. Subsequently he became known as an artist with great compositional skills and the ability to write music that creeps into your soul and stays there. Fifty years later, Ibrahim released his second album titled “Essence of Spring”.

The album was launched in November 2018 and once again gave hard core fans the opportunity to see this man behind the piano and to listen to new arrangements of his hit songs and compositions such as “Give a little love”, “Angel of love” and “I hear Music”. It includes Ibrahim’s recollections of the creation of the album ‘Spring’. In addition to these songs, 4 brand new compositions by Ibrahim and a fantastic solo piano piece was recorded and included in the album.
The aim of this album and live performances in promotion of this album is to pay tribute to and celebrate an artist who due to his immaculate compositional talents managed to create a diverse range of music – from easy listening pop flavours to evocative jazz themes that lead to calling on extreme improvisational skills from his fellow players.

The album was produced by Ramon Alexander and released by I-Studios. Ibrahim allowed young up-and-coming jazz musicians to accompany him on this album and invited some colleagues from his past to perform on some of his songs.

Shihab performs on occasion. It is recommended that any jazz and Cape Jazz lovers try to see this musician when he performs. His contribution to the South African music archive is tremendous and unfortunately, he received very little recognition for his contributions. Being in his 70’s – now is the time to make a plan, see a legend perform and rediscover his music and talent.


It was a privilege for Iluminar Productions to form a part of this project in 2018 and 2019. For any inquiries contact