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Monday, September 5, 2016


The Centre for Jazz and Popular Music will present a free lunch hour concert by the UKZN Big Band on September 07 2016 at 12:10 at Centre for Jazz and Popular Music.

This concert is conducted by John Kordalewski and the band will play Ndikho Xaba compositions, arranged by John Kordalewski.

Pianist and struggle stalwart Ndikho Xaba was born in 1934 in Pietermaritzburg. He lived in exile for 34 years (1964 to 1998), composing and performing music, in US, Canada and Tanzania.

Kordalewski and Xaba met in the late 1970’s while he was living in Washington DC. Xaba served as a mentor to Kordalewski.

Kordalewski began playing piano professionally in Washington, DC in the late 1970s, and has lived in Boston since 1991. He leads and is the arranger for the Makanda Project, a 13-piece group playing previously unrecorded compositions by Makanda Ken McIntyre and featuring several of Boston’s leading jazz musicians.

In 2014, Kordalewski came to see Xaba and this visit led to the idea of writing arrangements to preserve the cultural legacy of Xaba. Kordalewski wanted to create a unique combination of the big band sounds and colours with South African fundamentals that are in Xaba’s compositions. Kordalewski then returned later that year to discuss Xaba’s compositions further about, and get guidance. They together recorded a few ideas on tape, and Kordalewski used the tapes to use as a reference when adding the other parts.

The UKZN Big Band concert will take place at 12h10 on September 7 at the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Entrance is free.