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Nduduzo Makhathini

The JazzLab

“A truly singular pianist, an astonishingly gifted composer…one of South Africa’s most remarkable talents.” – Seton Hawkins, Jazz at Lincoln Center

The first South African musician to be signed to Blue Note Records and a long-time collaborator with Shabaka Hutchings, pianist and composer Nduduzo Makhathini has carved a unique space for himself in the global jazz scene.

Growing up in the lush and rugged hillscapes of umGungundlovu, Makhathini draws influence from the ancient culture of the Zulu, in which music and ritual practices are symbiotically linked. Also carrying influences from John Coltrane and McCoy Tyner as well as the legends of South African jazz, it is the convergence of these musical and cultural traditions that creates such a unique power in his music.

Considered a ‘musical philosopher’ by his peers, the prolific recording artist has brought a bold new energy to the genre. His eleventh, and most recent album, In the spirit of Ntu, has been described as a ‘prayer,’ and indeed feels imprinted with cosmic purpose, while his previous Blue Note release was named one of the “Best Jazz Albums of 2020” by The New York Times.

Making his Australian debut over 2 incredible nights at the JazzLab, Makhathini will perform with his trio featuring Zwelakhe Duma Bell le Pere and Francisco Mela, in the final concerts of the 2023 festival.

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