Ayanda Sikade was born on 1 January 1981, the third in the family of seven kids. By the time he was eight, he had already started his long journey in music. At the age of 10, Ayanda was drumming for Vuka Jazz band in Mdantsane township in East London, where he was born.
In 1996, Ayanda attended the Grahamstown Youth Jazz Festival, where he was selected to represent South African youth jazz in Sweden, even though the trip never came to pass. In 1999 at the Grahamstown Youth Festival he met Darius Brubeck, who invited him to join the University of Natal’s jazz programme. Ayanda was selected to represent South African students at the IAJE (International Association for Jazz Educators) conference in Long Beach, California in the USA. In 2004, he won the prestigious SAMRO Overseas Scholarship, which he took in 2009.
Ayanda has worked with the most accomplished jazz musicians in South Africa and abroad, including Feya Faku, Bheki Mseleku, Robbie Jansen, Barney Rachabane, Zim Ngqawana, Simphiwe Dana and Darius Brubeck, just to name a few. In mid-2010, Ayanda was invited to collaborate with Swiss jazz musician Jan Galega Brönnimann on a theatre piece written and directed by Mr Jorg Lure in Berlin. His debut album was recently recorded with leading local jazz musicians Herbie Tsoaeli (contrabass), Nduduzo Makhathini (piano), Mthunzi Mvubu (alto and soprano sax) and Nhlanhla Mahlangu (tenor and soprano sax). He is also the drummer for Banz Oester & The Rainmakers, who in 2014 released their album ‘Live at the Bird’s Eye’.