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Pianist Nduduzo Makhathini Guides Us to "Find Healing Vibrations" in Our Moment of Crisis

Siphiwe Mhlambi

We are all freaking out. Take a moment to center yourself.

Blue Note’s newest recording artist, pianist and composer Nduduzo Makhathini, also practices as a sangoma, a traditional South African healer. And in the face of our frightening global pandemic, he offers a message of hope.

On this program, Makhathini guides us through two recordings in which he combines his healing and musical practices. First, we’ll listen to his 2017 release Ikambi, which translates in English as “a healing concoction.” He then guides us through his forthcoming Blue Note Records debut Modes of Communication: Letters From The Underground, retelling how he became a sangoma by meeting his ancestors in a vivid dream.

Makhathini goes on to talk about the healing properties in McCoy Tyner and John Coltrane’s music, and handpicks one of their sonic remedies to listen to during this time of crisis. “I feel that if John Coltrane and even McCoy Tyner or Elvin Jones and Jimmy Garrison were born on this side of the globe, they would have definitely become sangomas,” he says. “Everything that they have played, at least for me, has a deeper revelation deep within. And these revelations are new every time we encounter their music.”

Modes of Communication: Letters From The Underground will be released on Blue Note on April 3; preorder here. Also visit his blog here.

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For more than 15 years, Simon Rentner has worked as a host, producer, broadcaster, web journalist, and music presenter in New York City. His career gives him the opportunity to cover a wide spectrum of topics including, history, culture, and, most importantly, his true passion of music from faraway places such as Europe, South America, and Africa.