mbira_KuwiriranaMbira Kuwirirana is a trio of mbira players based in the UK. The name of the group can be loosely translated to “mbira is friendship”. The trio is composed of Fungai Gahadzikwa, Doug Langley and Takudzwa Mukiwa who met because of mbira and have maintained  a close friendship since hence the choice of name.

The trio has been playing together for over 5 years and have played at events including the British Forum for Ethnomusicology Annual Conference in 2010, Mwalimu Express, Music For Liberia concerts and many more including at venues such as the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford.

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Fungai Gahadzikwa

Fungai started playing at the age of five . His grandfather and father were great players of mbira and it from them that  taught him  how to play. He also currently plays for the band Limpopo Groove and has played with renowned players that include  Ambuya Stella Chiweshe and the late Beaular Dyoko. Fungai has also been teaching mbira for many years.

Doug Langley

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Doug Langley was introduced to Zimbabwean Mbira music by his friend and ethnomusicologist Noel Lobely shortly after moving to Oxford in 2004. Aside from initially learning and performing with Noel, Moses Bikishoni and Nhamburo Ziyenge as Kuridza Mbira Project, and receiving an inspirational two hour lesson with celebrated Mbira player Cosmas Magaya, Doug’s primary tool for developing his Mbira playing has been listening to and learning from the hundreds of recordings put out by non-profit organisation Mbira.org.

Taku Mukiwa

Taku started playing mbira after high school and was taught by the Kwanongoma instrument maker Tendai Machinga and the late Samson Zivanashe,  (or Jongwe as he was affectionately known), a respected player in the Bulawayo mbira circles who was a favourite for many people conducting biras. His playing history includes playing with musicians such as  Anna Mudeka, Harare frontman Kudaushe Matimba and mbira maestro Chartwell Dutiro. He has recorded with Grassroots Theatre Company and provided backing vocals on some tracks on Chartwell Dutiro’s album Dendere Ngoma for which he also played mbira for the track Tatenda. With a background in theatre, Taku has played mbira in numerous theatre performances.  He runs the popular mbira blog Zvembira.com.