Esplanade Presents | A Tapestry of Sacred Music
Mbira: The Healing Music
Sat & Sun
Sun: 5pm & 6pm
In the Shona language, the mbira instrument is called mbira dzavadzimu, meaning “mbira of the ancestors”. The Shona people of Zimbabwe regard its music sacred as they believe that it connects them with their ancestors. Zimbabwean master musician Fradreck Mujuru is joined by Shane Taylor Constante and Mark Bradshaw in playing the healing music of the mbira.
About Fradreck Mujuru
Fradreck Mujuru was born into a Shona family with a long history of playing and making the mbira. Like many aspiring mbira players, he would attend traditional ceremonies where he would pester the elders to teach him. He started playing it at the age of eight and was performing at ceremonies by the time he was 15. In 1981, he taught himself how to make mbiras. Fradreck toured Europe and South Africa in the 1990s and has taught and performed in the United States, having taken up residencies at Grinnell College, Williams College, and the University of Michigan. Today, he is a highly-respected musician as well as one of the greatest living mbira makers. His instruments are played all over the world.
About Shane Taylor Constante
Constante studied percussion under the direction of Mario Gaetano at Western Carolina University. He later joined the United States Peace Corps where he served as the music curriculum specialist to the Malawi Institute of Education in Malawi, Africa. He has studied and performed a wide range of musical styles outside of his western percussion background, including the traditional music of Bali, Brazil, Cuba, Ghana, Java, Malawi, South India, and Zimbabwe.
Prior to Ty Constante's appointment at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory in 2005, he was an instructor at Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand where he taught theory and ear training courses, as well as assisted the percussion department.
Beginning in 1999, he directed a Shona mbira ensemble and taught all levels of aural skills at San Diego State University while pursuing a master’s degree in Ethnomusicology, which he completed in 2002. He was a lecturer at Cuyamaca Community College, where he taught courses on the history of rock and the history of jazz.
About Mark Bradshaw
Currently Head of Music at UWCSEA East in Singapore, Mark has played mbira for twenty years. He began learning with Chartwell Dutiro while studying for his M.Mus at SOAS, University of London, and soon travelled to Zimbabwe to further his education. As an ethnomusicologist, he specialises in the music of southern Africa, in particular the mbira and marimba music of Zimbabwe and the bow music of Swaziland. With his composition partner, Roo Pigott, he has released two albums of African contemporary electronica and written a number of pieces for TV and radio. Born in Ghana but raised in the UK, Mark has taught in Tanzania, Botswana, Swaziland, Thailand, Brunei and Singapore. Mark is also an experienced IBDP Music teacher, workshop leader and curriculum writer. He heads back to Zimbabwe in June 2017 to submerge in a summer of music study.
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