Announcing a Special Appearance in Paonia by Zimbabwean Master Musicians
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Zimbabwean mbira masters Cosmas Magaya and Ambuya Beauler Dyoko will be visiting Paonia for a rare appearance at the Blue Sage Center on Friday September 14th. During their appearance they will discuss Zimbabwean Culture and Music, as well as perform and demonstrate traditional Shona music. The will offer introductory workshops the following day. The appearance is part of their US tour, and is organized by ZimbabweInTheNorthFork.com, a local group promoting cultural exchange with Zimbabwe.
Mr. Magaya is an internationally recognized master of the “Mbira dzaVadzimu“, the traditional thumb piano played in Zimbabwe. He is a performer, highly acclaimed teacher and group leader of traditional Zimbabwean music. In addition to performing with his group, Mhuri yekwa Magaya, in Zimbabwe, he has completed several international tours with mbira ensembles in Europe and the United States. His performances are featured on a number of critically acclaimed CDs and he has been invited to teach master classes at top universities in the United States including Stanford, Northwestern and Duke University. In addition to performing and teaching, Cosmas has, since 1971, collaborated with ethnomusicologist Dr. Paul Berliner, doing field research on Shona traditional music that has resulted in a scholarly and well known book, The Soul of Mbira.
Ambuya Beauler Dyoko represents a pure expression of traditional Shona mbira and culture. Also known as the Queen of Zimbabwean Mbira, Beauler is a stunning vocalist and for many years was asked to perform a song to open the Zimbabwean Parliament. She has a unique and sweetly forceful mbira style which has influenced many in the U.S. and Zimbabwe. She is leader and featured singer with the popular contemporary mbira ensemble The Black Souls and has also performed with Mhuri yekwa Rwizi for many years in Zimbabwe and throughout the world.
The Mbira Zdavadzimu is a musical instrument popular among the Shona of Zimbabwe for at least 1,000 years. It is often heard at religious rituals, in the royal courts and at social gatherings. The name means mbira of the ancestor spirits. It is also known as sanza.
From 22 to 28 strips of forged metal of varying lengths are affixed to a hardwood soundboard and the whole piece is usually placed inside a large resonator made of a calabash (called the deze) to amplify the sound. In effect, there are two levels of sound amplification: first the soundboard and then the gourd. The metal keys on the instruments are curved upward at the loose ends, and are stroked with the two thumbs plucking down and the right forefinger plucking up. The sound is somewhat like a marimba, but with an almost harp-like effect The deze, or gourd, is strung with bottle caps or shells that shake in sympathy with the vibrations of plucked keys, producing a buzzing sound. Beyond the music itself, the mbira represents the spiritual values of the Shona, their culture, religion and aspirations as a people. (*mbira description Hungary Kits content from wikipedia.com)
The upcoming presentation and workshops will feature the traditional singing, hosho and mbira music of Zimbabwe. Times for the workshops and more details will be available at . The appearance at the Blue Sage in Paonia takes place at 7pm on Friday September 14th. Admission is $12 and kids under 12 are free. Call 872-4413 for more information.