By Jonathan Mbiriyamveka
At least 30 mbira groups are billed to perform at the first ever Mbira Sunplash 2014 scheduled for Dzimbanhete Arts Interactions on September 28. The groups will go into camp on September 26 at DAI, an arts and culture resource center situated along Bulawayo road, between the Snake World and the Lion and Cheetah Park, ahead of the 36 hour marathon mbira session.
The gig will showcase several genres of mbira music as played in different regions and cultures of Zimbabwe.
“Mbira Sunsplash will be taking place at DAI from the Friday, Spetember 26 to September 28. While music will be playing at the main stage, there will be mbira workshops and stories and an exhibition of various mbira instruments will be happening at the acoustic stage and gallery respectively,” the organisers said.
According to the show organisers, Zimbabwe is the major world custodian of mbira music, the unique music which has over the years spread to much distant lands, yet they feel it is not celebrated enough in this country.
“This event is meant to highlight and elevate this musical form and establish it as a classic genre from which most contemporary genres have been nourished.
“By bringing together mbira players from different regions in the country to play at Dzimbanhete Arts Interactions, which has been tailor made to suit traditional ceremonies, we are fortifying this music by giving it its authentic appeal.”
Some of the groups taking part include Harare ensembles such as Culture Vibes, Dzimbahwe Mbira, Hweva Mbira, Negombwe Mbira, Great Mbira group, Mazwi Mbira and Tavarura Mbira.
And from Chitungwiza there is Madendera ekumabvazuva, Madzitateguru, Madhonza Makuru Group, Nyuchi Dzegonera and Saunyama Mbira group.
Norton will be represented by the popular Mbira DzeNharira while Dema Ruware will be representing Karoi.
Gomba Mbira from Mazoe, Gurambira group from Jerera, Zonke Tsonga Family Mbira from Nyamapanda and Nhoroondo Mbira group from Mhondoro will be part of the mbira extravaganza.
Marondera based group Rovambira Crew, Kambuzuma Mupamombe from Makonde and Vadzimba Mbira group from Kadoma as well as Zemba na Shumba from Murehwa will also showcase themselves.
Dzimbanhete (which means light footprints and not houses) is an artists’ cultural resource centre and creative educational space situated 23km south west of Harare.
Founded in 2007, DAI provides an ambient environment for Zimbabweans and regional guest artists to experiment and acquire new technical and conceptual skills in the printmaking disciplines.
An array of handmade manual printmaking methods are carried out at the workshop by professional artists who serve as mentors and technical guides to novices who would like to further expand their skills and scope of expression.
The artworks produced at DAI illuminate Zimbabwean cultural heritage and artistic vocabulary.
Common themes explored by the artists at DAI include cultural dislocation, rediscovery of self and the preservation of indigenous consciousness through the arts.
Headed by Zimbabwean international artist, the core staff at DAI is made up of professional artists and art lecturers who impart their skills and knowledge to people from all walks of life.
This month DAI will present artworks that celebrate seven years of existence and re-launch art and re-boot the DAI project.
At DAI, their motto is “Only Culture Unites People”.
via allAfrica.com: Zimbabwe: Dzimbanhete to Host Mbira Sunsplash.