Monday, 21 April 2008


Ever since I first heard mbira from Zimbabwe almost 30 years ago (via this record), I've been a lover of that enchanting, delicate and intricate music. It's only recently, however, that many of us who aren't actually players of the mbira could see just how the instrument is played: Holding the mbira, and scales - Lesson One - Two - Three - Four, and more and more. And here are some recommended mbira players and groups with MySpace Music pages worth checking out: Spirit Talk Mbira - Mbira Oracle - Kunzawa Mbira Group - Joel Laviolette.
Special honors to Thomas Mapfumo, who, many years back, took the mbira style and spirit and adapted it to electric guitars, in an inspired and joyous fusion of the ancient and the modern.

This page from All About Jazz reviews the Nonesuch label's releases of Shona mbira music.

This YouTube clip features a tune from another of the Nonesuch releases, The Soul of Mbira, a collection of recordings made by ethnomusicologist and author Paul Berliner. Recommended.

There'll no doubt be plenty of mbira music to be heard at Zimfest 2008, this coming July in Tacoma, Washington.

Finally, here's Dangurangu. For your ears only.

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