Nduduzo Makhathini, one of South Africa’s leading pianist will perform a sequence of concerts titled: Singing as a way of Being in the World from Friday March 11 to Sunday March 13, at Glenelly Estate in Stellenbosch.
A torch bearer of African tradition Mr Makhathini’s artistic virtuosity on piano will articulate an African spiritual journey.
“This performance will be a three-part ritual of three evenings,” says Mr Makhathini.
“The symbolism of these rituals will be anchored on the trinity that governs an African worldview. We have been told from the wise ones that an African world is made up of the living, living-dead (ancestors) and the ones-not-yet-born as being in a constant counterpoint.”
The symbolism of these rituals are clearly articulated in sequence of these three concerts. Each has a theme:
The theme for Concert 1 on Friday March 11, at 8pm is Preparation. One of the rituals to be explored is that of a period of ‘ukuphahla’ when a traditional healer is preparing to take a journey of a calling of healing.
Featuring singer Thandiswa Mazwai; “this performance will explore the language of the spirits there by inviting through ukuphahla to guide us on a journey ahead,” explains Mr Makhathini. The symbolic colour for this concert is red. A symbol of light.
Concert 2 on Saturday March 12, at 8pm will be themed, Elsewhere. Featuring Msaki. At this stage the traditional healer is undergoing training.
“This performance seeks to enter the realms of the spirit and take the audience on a journey towards the unknown where healing reside,” he explains. The symbolic colour here is green. A colour that symbolises spiritual growth.
The theme for Concert 3 on Sunday March 12, at 3pm is, The Return. Featuring Omagugu Makhathini. The traditional healer graduates. The symbolic colour is white. A colour that represents purity.
“This performance captures a celebratory spirit and new knowledge of self,” says Mr Makhathini.
“The astounding band will play these rituals, and not only of a traditional healer but many more that connect us as people with the spiritual world and the environment we live in,” he adds.
“As an artist I have argued that my artistic practice enunciates from a cosmological standpoint. In other words, the articulation of my sound is a result of deep mediations and engagements with the worldview described above.
Ultimately, the music I will be presenting seeks resonance with the greater ancestral paradigms, spirit worlds, the environment, and all living things.”
Mr Makhathini grew up in umGungundlovu in Kwa Zulu-Natal, where music and ritual practices were symbiotically linked.
The legends of South African jazz are deep influences, in particular Bheki Mseleku, Moses Molelekwa, and Abdullah Ibrahim.
He has performed at renowned festivals including the Cape Town International Jazz Festival and the Essence Festival (in both New Orleans and South Africa), and in 2019 made his debut appearances the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York City.
He also performed at the Jazz at Lincoln Center where he was a featured guest with Wynton Marsalis and with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra on their 3-night musical celebration, The South African Songbook in Rose Theatre.
The band for his concerts in Stellenbosch, will consist of himself on piano, singing and bringing the prophetic word; Robin Fassie Kock will be on the trumpet and flugel horn; on double bass will be Ariel Zamonsky; Ayanda Sikade on drums and Gontse Makhene on percussion.
The concerts will take place at Glenelly Estate in Stellenbosch and tickets are priced from R350 to R900 for a weekend pass. For bookings, visit, https://qkt.io/SxSksV or go to, glenellyestate.com, for more information.