29 June 2012

Zimbabwe: Mbira Groups Bring Curtain Down On Winter

IT will be a spiritual affair when close to 10 mbira music groups from around Zimbabwe take part in a concert dubbed "Bira Rekuvhara Chando" at Sports Diner in Harare tonight.

The bira is the brainchild of Dare Remagwenyambira, an an association of mbira players formed in January this year with the aim of providing mbira artistes with a platform to uplift their genre and also improve their welfare.

Topping the bill will be Mbira Dzenharira, Mawungira Enharira, Hwevambira, Mbira Dzedzirorodziva and Murehwa-based Zemba Nembira Dzetsokoto, while the Great

Mbira Sounds, Dzivarembira (Bindura), Mazwi Maunganidze, Dzimbahwe Mbira Crew and Mashayamombe (Chiweshe) will also be part of the line-up.

"Since we are getting into a new season, it is critical for mbira musicians who act as custodians of our African culture and tradition to come together for 'Bira Remavhara Chando'.

"This concert comes after the one we held in April called 'Bira Remavhura Chando' which was meant to welcome the winter season. But with this event, we are bidding farewell to winter and are hoping for good fortunes in the coming new season.

"It is important for people to observe the change in seasons, and that is why farmers observe the weather and why people are talking about global warming.

"As artistes, we want to highlight such issues and changes through this concert," said Donald Nyamayaro, who leads the group Hwevambira.

In line with the event, Hwevambira are expected to play some of their songs like "Global Warming" and "Nyamavhuvhu" that talk about global warming and other similar phenomena.

Nyamayaro -- who is also one of the organisers of the event -- said the concert was also aimed at promoting mbira music.

"We are going to use the show as a starting point in lobbying for better airplay and appreciation of mbira music which is just as good as any other music genre in Zimbabwe," he said.

Norton-based group Mbira Dzenharira, led by Tendai Samaita Gahamadze, are not new to music circles and their inclusion at the festival is just a formality.

They are expected to play songs from a number of their hit albums like "Gomo Remandiriri, "Todya Pfora", "Tozvireva Tingaputike Neshungu," and "Rinemanyanga", which have earned them numerous awards of music excellence.

Not to be outdone will be the Wilfred Tichaona MaAfrika-led Mawungira Enharira mbira group.

Their performances have taken them to places beyond the country's borders like the United States, where their brand of music is highly appreciated.

Hwevambira are also expected to play tracks from their three albums, "Misumo", "Dai Kari Kare" and "Global Warning".

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