Jazz maestro Nduduzo Makhathini hits high notes

Jazz artist and trendsetter Nduduzo Makhathini/ Tshepo Kekana
Jazz artist and trendsetter Nduduzo Makhathini/ Tshepo Kekana

When jazz maestro Nduduzo Makhathini takes to the stage tonight with Lincoln Centre Orchestra (LCO) and great trumpeter Wynton Marsalis in Vienna he will be marking another historical moment.

Makhathini - who signed one of the most incredible recording deals with Blue Note Records, the renowned American jazz record label owned by Universal Music Group - has two significant performances.

The first performance tonight with the LCO and Marsalis at Wiener Konserthuis in Austria will be dedicated to Thelonious Sphere Monk.

Monk, who died in 1982 at the age of 65, was an American jazz pianist and composer. He is renowned for a unique improvisational style and contributed to the growth of the American standard jazz repertoire.

Speaking to Sowetan yesterday just a few minutes before flying to Austria, Makhathini said: "It is an honour not only to perform with LCO but to get an opportunity to interpret the music of one of the greatest pianists.

"I have so much respect for the LCO. Lincolin orchestra is one of the greatest jazz orchestras and I feel honoured to play with them."

The second day, tomorrow, will be dedicated to South African Songbook: 25 Years of Democracy. The performance will feature interpretations of music of artists such as Bheki Mseleku and Zim Ngqawana, who are both deceased, and Feya Faku.

"It is an exciting and proud moment for me and the country... all these are part of some of the dreams I had 30 years ago, now they are a reality."

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