It’s another Friday, the sun is hot and am in the office on my lunch break so that I dont miss out on sending the Friday post! Truth be told, I had a massive breakfast so don’t really need to go out.  Don’t know about you, but the weekend has been smooth so far and so many interesting different things have happened with mbira for me.

“Chasing the Moon” : Mbira on the British Theatre Stage 

Taku Mbira

Last Saturday I had the pleasure (even though i look otherwise in the picture!) of playing mbira in a play at the renowned Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. Written by Chipo Chung, Chasing the Moon  is a collection of stories and personal memories, based on interviews, reflecting on the prospect of diasporans’ return to Zimbabwe. The play, which is in advanced development, diarises the writer’s yearning to return home in the wake of the 2008 elections. I do hope you will get to see it when the final work hits the road. After the performance, someone told me the music was amazing but they had initially got annoyed when I started playing because an announcement to switch off mobile phones had just been made…

Mbira is no stranger to the British stage as it has already featured in two big theatre productions,  Breakfast with Mugabe (mbira played by Chartwell Dutiro) and an all-black cast production of Julius Caesar  (mbira played by Chartwell Dutiro) that has even toured the world.

 It is opportunities like these that provide mbira with exposure beyond the ‘usual suspects’ i.e. ‘world music’ enthusiast or people who already know and care about Zimbabwean music! Hopefully we will see more and more mbira music hitting the British theatre stages in the future!

Urban Music  in Zimbabwe 

It seems to me that Zimbabweans young musicians are embracing mbira more and more and are now incorporating it into their urban styles of music to put a Zimbabwean stamp to the music. Here is a small sample of tunes.

The Zealots 

Shingi Mangoma 

Ammara Brown – Night of the Queen

Anyway folks, have a great weekend!