Esplanade Presents | A Tapestry of Sacred Music
The Shona people of Zimbabwe regard the music produced by the mbira (a traditional African instrument) as sacred as they believe that it connects them with their ancestors. Called mbira dzavadzimu (mbira of the ancestors) in the Shona language, the instrument has been played for over a thousand years at traditional ceremonies and celebrations.
Try your hand at playing this unique instrument, which comprises 22 to 28 metal keys mounted on a hard wood soundboard. Learn the rich history behind the mbira from Zimbabwean master musician, Fradreck Mujuru, who will also demonstrate the complex rhythmic and melodic variations within the traditional improvisational style of playing the instrument.
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.
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