Nduduzo Makhathini scaling the heights of music

You can catch him on Friday September 16, 8pm, Fismer Hall, Konservatorium Stellenbosch University.

By CityLife Arts Writer

There is no doubt that within what we loosely call jazz music in this country, he is at the top of the game right now. He has been travelling in the past few years, and If not, he is teaching at an institution of higher learning. He definitely has found his purpose in life.

After captivating audiences on a tour of the USA and Europe [2022], South African jazz pianist, Nduduzo Makhathini, is performing in a series of celebratory and thanksgiving concerts in the Cape, during September, Heritage Month, South Africa. The internationally acclaimed pianist and academic, is elated to have the opportunity to commune once again in his home country and perform in a spread of venues, across the Cape- Stellenbosch, Cape CBD and Kalk Bay. There are two concerts, being presented on the tour: A Thanksgiving Ritual: Umgidi and Nduduzo Makhathini – In the Spirit of Ntu.

A Thanksgiving Ritual: Umgidi, is taking place in Stellenbosch on Friday September 16 and is in partial fulfilment of Makhathini’s Integrated PhD in Music, which he is doing at Stellenbosch University. In the Spirit of Ntu references Makhathini’s album, of the same name, released this year [2022] by Blue Note Records (USA) and is being presented at two venues -September 17 in The Blue Room, Cape Town CBD and on September 18- at the Olympia Café, Kalk Bay.                                           

For all concerts Nduduzo will be on piano and spoken word with Mbuso Khoza who will be on vocals and poetry backed by superb musicians in Cape Town’s jazz genre including Justin Bellairs on saxophone, Stephen de Souza on double bass and Dane Paris on drums.

“At the core of this sonic ritual/meditation, I demonstrate the importance of a community (in the form of a large ensemble with an audience) in music-making as a collective process,” explains Makhathini.

“Here I work inside the concepts of ngoma and ntu as invocations of wholeness. This performance forms part of locating my own approaches in improvisation, which I call ingoma-sbhulo (a divining sound-field that points towards revealing an elsewhere),”

“Part of what this meditation does, is to (re)contextualize the piano in an African context, both within African music practices/repertoire and as a ritual object performing in ritual technology. Parallel to that, I seek in this event to juxtapose the idea of multiple-voices to that of ‘the throwing of the bones’ during divination. In this sense, improvisation enters the realm of prophetic knowledge via a meditation sequence: known-unkown-newknowing,” he says.

 Ultimately, this performance will be a thanksgiving ritual to pay gratitude to the spirit guides that collaborated with Makhathini in creating this work. 

~ Friday September 16, 8pm, Fismer Hall, Konservatorium Stellenbosch University

A Thanksgiving Ritual: Umgidi

Featuring: Mbuso Khoza (vocals and poetry) backed by top Cape jazz musicians, including Justin Bellairs (saxophone), Stephen de Souza (double bass) and Dane Paris on drums

Booking link: https://www.quicket.co.za/events/177470-a-thanksgiving-ritual-umgidi-nduduzo-

~  Saturday September, 17, 7pm, The Blue Room, Grub and Vine, Bree Street, Cape Town

Nduduzo Makhathini -In the Spirit of Ntu

Featuring: Mbuso Khoza (vocals, poetry), Justin Bellairs (saxophone), Dane Paris (drums), Stephen de Souza (bass)

Booking link: https://www.grubandvine.co.za/events/artist-line-up-september/

~  Sunday September, 18, 8pm, The Olympia Bakery, Kalk Bay

Nduduzo Makhathini -In the Spirit of Ntu – presented by Slow Life and Likwezi Arts

Featuring: Mbuso Khoza (vocals, poetry), Justin Bellairs (saxophone), Dane Paris (drums), Stephen de Souza (bass)

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