Ndikho Xaba was born in 1934 in Pietermaritzburg, KZN, he is a multi-instrumentalist, music historian and philosopher. For thirty-four years 1964 –1998 he lived in exile in the US, Canada and Tanzania.
Xaba is an actor, composer, and pianist; he also plays an array of musical instruments, both African and western – some of his own design and innovation, including variations of ancient instruments such as umakhoyane, ugubhu and others.
Xaba created music described as spiritual, eclectic and ground-breaking. In 1970, as the leader of Ndikho Xaba & The Natives, a band based in San Francisco, California, Xaba released an inventive record of exceptional musicianship, seeped in the African and spiritual traditions of the jazz avant-garde. The album, titled Shwabada, was long considered the ‘holy grail’ among jazz record collectors. In 2015 it was re-issued by Matsuli Music, making it available to a new generation of listeners.
On his recognition as the eThekwini Living Legend, “They were very happy to know that their old man has been recognized at this age”