Nduduzo Makhathini Quartet at the Vermont Jazz Center
Saturday June 11, 2022
Nduduzo Makhathini, piano
Logan Richardson, alto sax & flute
Lonnie Plaxico, bass
Francisco Mela, drums
This show will be both in-person and livestreamed
“As a player and a composer, he sits right beside McCoy Tyner and Pharoah Sanders, playing a forceful but lyrical style of modal jazz that incorporates African rhythmic concepts… The pieces they performed had a swelling, passionate quality, exploratory but never losing an essential earthbound feeling.
Makhathini is at the head of a small but powerful movement of young South African jazz players, and the higher his international profile rises, the better it will be for that country’s music scene and jazz as a whole. He’s a major talent.” –Phil Freeman, Stereogum
In Makhathini’s artistic world, like in much of African culture, there are no boundary lines drawn between creating art and living in harmony with the natural world. His presentations are musical experiences as opposed to concerts. They are expressions of a deeper life, a means to create shared, intentional, spiritual experiences where the energy of the audience is inclusive and pervasive. Makhathini has tried to capture that experience in his recent Blue Note Records debut, Modes of Communication: Letters from the Underworlds.
Musical influences for Makhathini include the venerable legends of South African jazz: Bheki Mseleku, Moses Molelekwa, and Abdullah Ibrahim. His mentor Mseleku, introduced Makhathini to the music of John Coltrane’s classic quartet with McCoy Tyner. “I came to understand my voice as a pianist through John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme,” he says. “… I had always been looking for a kind of playing that could mirror or evoke the way my people danced, sung and spoke. Tyner provided that and still does in meaningful ways.”
Makhathini is a member of Shabaka Hutchings’ band Shabaka and the Ancestors, appearing on their 2016 album Wisdom of Elders. He has recorded or toured with Logan Richardson, Nasheet Waits, Tarus Mateen, Stefon Harris, Billy Harper, Azar Lawrence, and Ernest Dawkins. Makhathini has released eight albums a a leader: Ikhambi won Best Jazz Album at the South African Music Awards (SAMA).
His Blue Note debut Modes of Communication: Letters from the Underworlds was released in 2020 to wide critical acclaim. The New York Times naming it one of the “Best Jazz Albums of 2020” and DownBeat naming Nduduzo among their “25 for the Future” list.
Letters from the Underworld also cinches a partnership between Blue Note Records and Universal Music Group Africa that has led to the creation of Blue Note Africa.
Mahkhatini has performed at festivals around the world, at the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York City, and appeared as a guest with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra on their 3-night musical celebration The South African Songbook. He is the head of the Jazz Studies department at Fort Hare University in the Eastern Cape.
You may purchase in-person tickets, $20-40 sliding scale, and/or donate to the livestream.
Please give generously and support live music.
Sponsored by Julian Gerstin & Carlene Raper, Vermont Arts Council, Vermont Humanities Council, & New England Foundation for the Arts.
https://vtjazz.org/covid-protocols/ Mask required.
802 258 9088
Vermont Jazz Center
72 Cotton Mill Hill #222
Brattleboro VT 05301