South African Pianist Nduduzo Makhathini Releases New Single “Emlilweni” | LISTEN! Announces U.S./International Tour

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Nduduzo Makhathini has released “Emlilweni,” the third and final single to be revealed from the visionary South African pianist and composer’s luminous new album In the Spirit of Ntu, which comes out May 27. A 2-LP vinyl release of the album has just been announced for September 23.

Makhathini employs fire as a motif on the album’s anchor track “Emlilweni,” which features a searing guest appearance by the American alto saxophonist Jaleel Shaw. “South Africans have always thought of sounds as residing outside of burning fires. They would say ‘during this particular time this was the soundtrack to this burning!’ I started thinking what it means for sound to no longer conform to residing on the borders of this burning… what does it mean for sound to emerge out of these fires?”

“This project was conceived at a difficult time in South Africa, a time of confusion and conflict,” he continues. “It was, once more, a period of burning fires, riots and massacres. In this sense, the music that I have composed is not surrounding these fires as a backdrop or soundtrack—these sounds are part of the discourse. They project from the burning fires until the fires stop burning. What remains is what these sounds seek to restore. Ntu as a creative force that seeks to lead us to remember our essence.”


May 30 – Spoleto Festival, Charleston, SC
June 3 – Blue Room, Kansas City, MO
June 4 – Blue Room, Kansas City, MO
June 7 – Take Two at Public Records, Brooklyn, NY
June 9 – Narrows Center for the Arts, Fall River, MA
June 11 – Vermont Jazz Center, Brattleboro, VT
July 8 – North Sea Jazz Festival, Rotterdam, Netherlands
July 9 – Marseille Jazz des Cinq Continents, Marseille, France
July 12 – Jazz à Vienne, Vienne, France
July 15 – Nice Jazz Festival, Nice, France
July 16 – Albinea Jazz Festival, Albinea, Italy
August 6 – Ystad Sweden Jazz Festival, Ystad, Sweden
November 20 – London Jazz Festival, London, United Kingdom
November 23 – Barcelona Jazz Festival, Barcelona, Spain
November 26 – La Spirale, Fribourg, Switzerland
November 27 – Kirchenmusikschule, St. Gallen, Switzerland
December 2 – deSingel, Antwerp, Belgium
December 3 – Theatre de la Verriere, Lille, France

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Blue Note Records

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