2020 looked mighty bright for Nduduzo Makhathini. In January, jazz fans and critics alike jammed themselves into the Zürcher Gallery at the NYC Winter Jazzfest to get a glimpse of the rising star pianist. The buzz was real for the first South African artist ever to be signed to Blue Note Records.
By the time his debut album, Modes of Communication: Letters from the Underworlds, came out on April 3, the world was deeply suffering from the pandemic. The pianist was immediately summoned for his other practice: as a sangoma, a traditional South African healer.
Now, Nduduzo and his wife Omagugu Makhathini, a powerful singer in her own right, are hunkered down in South Africa's Eastern Cape with their three kids. For their Alone Together Duet, they offer some "healing sonics" with Nduduzo's composition "Beneath The Earth."
Produced by Jazz Night in America and The Checkout from WBGO.