By Chief K.Masimba Biriwasha
Harare, Zimbabwe – In an unprecedented musical collaboration, mbira queen, Chiwoniso Maraire, and mbira-punk rock band, chikwata.263, will host a joint performance at the Book Cafe on Saturday in honour of Adam Chisvo who died early this week.
“The show is being dedicated to the memory of the late great Adam Chisvo, Chiwoniso’s former mbira player and percussionist and a legend of Zimbabwean music. Proceeds from the show have been pledged to help Chisvo’s family. time. His family needs a lot of support; Adam left behind three boys who are going to school and a wife,” said Tsungi Zvobgo, Chiwoniso’s manager.
The show which promises to be one 2011’s most exciting gigs will see Chiwoniso amalgamate the versatility and beauty of her voice with chikwata.263’s experimental type of mbira, punk and rock fusion.
Singer, songwriter, and mbira player, Chiwoniso, will be performing fresh from her successful tour to South America and will be collaborating with the punk bank band for the first time.
chikwata.263, a collaborative enterprise of four young musicians fusing authentic Zimbabwean traditional instruments and punk sound, has been making waves in Harare’s underground music scene.
The band was formed at The Book Cafe’s Monday night Open Mic sessions in December and has already collaborated with several artists including John Pfumojena, Alexio Kawara, Zimbeats (USA), Andy Brown and has played alongside reggae outfit Mathias Julius & X-VBYZ, reggae aficionados, Transit Crew as well as the sensational Victoria Falls band, Mokoomba.
Their brand of ethno-cosmopolitan beats has wowed music fans in the shows they have featured so far. The four musicians in the band include Tomasi (punk guitar), Hector Rufaro (lead mbira), Shiloh (bass guitar), and Blessing (drums).
“We’re putting rock effects on mbira, working on the continuity and change of the mbira sound,” said Hector Rufaro, the band’s mbira player.
Tomasi said that the band was trying to craft a new repertoire of music in Zimbabwe utilizing a myriad of local musical influences to give the mbira a new sound.
“Once upon a time people said that the spirits will talk through the mbira but they did not listen. Now the spirits are shouting through our music,” Tomasi.