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Isambulo

by Linda Sikhakhane

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1.
2.
Gog'uIdah 03:40
3.
Isambulo 06:36
4.
uNongoma 06:01
5.
Umbhedesho 01:43
6.
A Day Passed 03:52
7.
Ikhandlela 05:48
8.

about

Linda Sikhakhane is a musician, improviser and composer born in Umlazi, a township in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. His roots are located KwaNongoma where Sikhakhane cites his upbringing soundtracks into his modern journey. This is predominantly a rural area which is better known as the home of King Goodwill Zwelithini, the late hereditary traditional leader of the Zulu nation.

His musical journey started when he joined the Siyakhula Music Centre, where he picked up the tenor saxophone and continued on his path under the gentle guidance of the late Dr. Brian Thusi. Linda relocated to Johannesburg soon after graduating from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, where he’d been studying towards a Diploma in Jazz & popular music since 2010. He undertook a relentless work schedule that saw him play a string of gigs, feature on notable recordings -- like Nduduzo Makhathini’s Mother Tongue (2014); and also found the H3 horn ensemble with two childhood friends.

Linda emerged victorious at the SAMRO Overseas Scholarship competition, where he was competing alongside accomplished names on the jazz circuit. He utilized the prize money to fund his Degree programme at The New School in New York. Here, he was mentored by greats such as Billy Harper, Reggie Workman, David Schnitter and Charles Tolliver

The debut offering Two Sides, One Mirror (2017) featured a superior cast of young mavericks in the improvised music scene. The compositions were lyrical, offering the listener a chance to remain fully immersed in the spiritual aspects of the music while concurrently admiring the studious nature of its technical proficiency. Amongst the many stand-outs are album opener “Ezinkalweni”, which recalls the literal below of a bull; the haunting lullaby “Hidden Love”, with vocalist and composer powerhouse Omagugu; “Ibuzwa Kwabaphambili”, an ode to the ancestors who continue to communicate wisdom through the sonic medium; and “A Night in D.C.”, which Linda composed while on a trip to Washington D.C.

He continued to build momentum during his studies in New York, attending sessions and gigging regularly around the city's notable jazz clubs. Among these were Smalls Jazz Club, Dizzy’s Club, Fat Cat, Club Bonafide, Zinc Bar just to name a few.

His sophomore album is entitled An Open Dialogue (2020). The live performance concert in New York consisted of music composed for his Senior recital at The New School. The project's release coincided with Linda being chosen as Apple Music's Artist of the Month (November 2020), making Sikhakhane the second South African Jazz musician to achieve the feat. An Open Dialogue also got nominated at the South African Music Awards under the Best Jazz Album category.

Linda has worked with the likes of Sibongile Khumalo, Khaya Mahlangu, Nduduzo Makhathini, Gregory Potter, Rodney Kendrick, Rhonda Ross Kendrick, Logan Richardson, Derrick Hodge, Ted Daniel, Thandiswa Mazwai, Herbie Tsoaeli and more.

credits

released June 24, 2022

Inner Freedom (revisited)
Linda Sikhakhane: Soprano saxophone
Lucca Fries: Piano
Fabien Iannone: Bass
Jonas Ruther: Drums
El Hadji Ngari Ndong: Percussion

Gog’uIdah
Linda Sikhakhane: Tenor saxophone & voiceover
Lucca Fries: Piano
Fabien Iannone: Bass
Jonas Ruther: Drums

Isambulo
Matthias Spillmann: Trumpet
Linda Sikhakhane: Soprano saxophone
Lucca Fries: Piano
Fabien Iannone: Bass
Jonas Ruther: Drums
El Hadji Ngari Ndong: Percussion

uNongoma
Paras: Vocals
Linda Sikhakhane: Tenor saxophone
Lucca Fries: Piano
Fabien Iannone: Bass
Jonas Ruther: Drums

Umbhedesho
Linda Sikhakhane: Tenor saxophone
Fabien Iannone: Bass
Jonas Ruther: Drums
El Hadji Ngari Ndong: Percussion

A Day Passed
Anna Widauer: Vocals
Linda Sikhakhane: Tenor saxophone
Lucca Fries: Piano
Fabien Iannone: Bass
Jonas Ruther: Drums

Ikhandlela
Linda Sikhakhane: Tenor saxophone
Lucca Fries: Piano
Fabien Iannone: Bass
Jonas Ruther: Drums

Hymn for The Majors
Linda Sikhakhane: Tenor saxophone
Lucca Fries: Piano
Fabien Iannone: Bass
Jonas Ruther: Drums

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Linda Sikhakhane Oslo, Norway

South African saxophonist and composer.

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