Ndabo Zulu & Umgidi Ensemble


Ndabo Zulu and Umgidi Ensemble is a multi-SAMA award-winning trumpeter from South Africa.

His debut album 'Queen Nandi: The African Symphony' released in 2019 features heavyweights such as pianist Nduduzo Makhathini and vocalist Zoë Modiga, among others. Zulu has also performed extensively with some of the world’s most respected artists such as Derrick Hodge (US), Herbie Tsoaeli, Salim Washington (US), Ayanda Sikade, Neil Gonsalves, Mbuso Khoza (SA), among many others.

The album, which was inspired by his Master’s thesis, earned him three awards, including Newcomer of the Year, Best Jazz Album and Best Duo/Group of the Year. He has also clinched other awards such as SAMRO IAM winner (2018), Jazz i Sikte (Norway, 2016), and is a three-time Mzantsi Jazz awards nominee for the project.

The trumpeter, who hails from Chesterville -- just outside of Durban -- was largely influenced by his hometown. He started his musical career playing in a project called the Field Band Foundation, before proceeding to the Salvation Army, where he received a few classes with the late Dr Brian Thusi at the Siyakhula Music centre in uMlazi in KwaZulu-Natal.

Shortly after, he joined the Durban music school where they taught him how to read and write music. At 14 years old he joined the KwaZulu-Natal Youth Wind Band, which predominantly played classical music. It was there where he was exposed to symphonic music and later led him down the route of his love for jazz.


Ndabo Zulu & Umgidi Ensemble


ZAJohannesburg, South Africa
In operation since: 
Profile added by Butchie Seroto on 18 Aug 2020