Jazz maestro Nduduzo Makhathini obtains a PhD in music.
By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
Acclaimed South African pianist, composer and producer Nduduzo Makhathini has recently obtained his PhD in Music from Stellenbosch University (SU).
The award-winning musician has collaborated with many renowned artists such as Wynton Marsalis, Shabaka Hutchings, Nasheet Waits, Somi and Black Coffee.
Makhathini has released eight albums since 2014 and founded the record label Gundu Entertainment along with his wife, Omagugu Makhathini, who is also a musician.
Due to the success of his albums, he was signed by Universal Music South Africa in 2018 and went on to become the first South African artist to sign with jazz label Blue Note Records for his album Letters from the Underworld (2020) and Spirit of Ndu (2022).
At Stellenbosch University, Makhathini pursued an integrated PhD, which refers to degrees where artistic practice and writing form components of a single research project.
Makhathini, who is the father of two boys, credits his wife for her support, which he said enables him to juggle performing, composing, teaching and studying.
"I'm blessed to have such a supportive partner. She is an incredible artist herself, but has been selflessly supporting my journey for many years. She makes everything possible and I love her deeply.
According to his biography, the church played a big role in Makhathini's musical understanding as he hopped from church to church in his younger days in search of only music.
He credits South African legends Bheki Mseleku, Moses Molelekwa and Abdullah Ibrahim as his musical influences.
His latest album, "In the Spirit of Ntu", recently scooped the Jazz Album of the Year award in Germany.