HomeCommentUS tour pays off for Zim musicians

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A FOUR month tour of the United States last year has paid off for local musical group, Mbira dze Muninga, after they successfully produced five albums which they were set to launch in Harare yesterday evening at the Mannenberg in Harare.

Band leader, Tigere Kahamadze said that his group’s tour to the US was facilitated by Matanho Project, a Washington-based non-profit organisation dedicated to improving the lives of Zimbabwean musicians and their communities.

During their stay in the US, Kahamadze and fellow group members –– Jacob Mafuleni, Micah Munhemo, Tonderai Ndaba and Pitchson Ngoshi –– took part in music festivals teaching Mbira and Zimbabwean traditional dance.

“Since the days of Dumisani Maraire, Zimbabwean music has been growing in the US,” said Kahamadze.

“Local musicians have been traveling there, and American musicians have been coming here, it can’t be more exciting than the launch of our five albums.

“Besides Zimbabweans playing marimba and mbira there are also people from other countries that play the same instruments,” he said.

A representative of the Matanho Project said the idea of a multiple CD launch was mooted in December last year and will feature several Americans and a Senegalese who were tutored on the traditional instruments by the Mbira dze Muninga crew.

A representative of the Matanho Project said being in Zimbabwe has always been her organisation’s dream, having assisted several local Zimbabwean musicians visit the US.

“When Zimbabwean musicians come to the (United) States, they are teaching us. So this is a good example of what they taught us, what we have learned and done together,” said Cathy Crystal who also plays mbira and hosho.

The Matanho Project has assisted several local groups such as Afro-acoustic group, Bongo Love, Maungira eNharira and Mbira dze Nharira tour the US in the past.

During the tours, the groups teach interested Americans how to play local music as well as learn some instruments in the US cementing longstanding cultural ties between the peoples of Zimbabwe and the US. –– Own Correspondent.

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