Makhathini wants to heal through music

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JOHANNESBURG — Award-winning jazz artiste Nduduzo Makhathini’s love for music has pushed him to look into ways to keep jazz alive by combining his knowledge of culture and music’s healing power.

He told TshisaLIVE he regards his music as “improvised music” instead of just jazz.

Nduduzo said he hopes to help heal the pain he sees daily.

“Pain can be seen in a lot of different ways. There’s losing a loved one and the pain of looking at society and realising how we have not progressed in so many years in terms of things like the colour of our skin, liberation, segregations and things like that. My approach to jazz is a very communal one.”

The BA Music graduate (jazz piano major) explained to TshisaLIVE that although his initial plan was not to study music, he’s grateful he did so because he produces well-thought out music.

He released his eighth album, titled Ikhambi (herbal concoction) and said although his songs capture the pain, they also lead to healing.

Heavily inspired by late musician Busi Mhlongo and Bheki Mseleku, Nduduzo is aware of the power of music.

“I create music that is grounded in African traditions but has overtones of jazz music. Within that I try to focus on finding new ways of packaging culture. Currently I’ve been working through “ubuNgoma” [traditional healing]. So we are trying to think about what does ubuNgoma mean for a pianist and how do we package ubuNgoma in a modernised society to create interest.”

—TshisaLIVE