Los Angeles, USA – Stella Rambisai Chiweshe is starting an extensive tour in June that will take her to North America and Australia.
Zimbabwe’s foremost mbira player, Stella Rambisai Chiweshe has, over the past 30 years, emerged as one of the most original artists in the contemporary African music scene. Known at home as “Ambuya Chinyakare” (Grandmother of Traditional Music) and around the world as “The Queen of Mbira”, her songs are resonant with the themes of liberation, spirituality and social justice. Wrapping her evocative vocals around haunting mbira lines, sultry percussion and call & response choruses, Stella creates warm dance grooves based on mbira rhythms and utilizes popular music forms and contemporary instruments to showcase the depth and power of the Zimbabwean spiritual tradition. She has introduced mbira music to a broader audience without sacrificing the instrument’s – and her own – relationship to their roots. In the process she has emerged as a Zimbabwe cultural ambassador.
As the only woman in Zimbabwe who leads her own band, Stella Chiweshe is in control of her own equipment and transport, an achievement only those, who know under what kind of conditions female musicians normally work in Africa, can truly understand.
She took a leading role in the formation of the Zimbabwe Musicians Union, and since 1993 she is director of the Mother Earth Trust – Network of Female Artists in Zimbabwe.
Stella Chiweshe has toured the world extensively since 1983 and has released seven critically acclaimed and internationally successful albums most recently 2002’s Talking Mbira: Spirits of Liberation. Last winter Stella completed a US solo tour with performances at this year’s Folk Alliance (February), Joe’s Pub (NY), The Kennedy Center (Washington, DC), Boston and New Mexico.
Confirmed concert dates:
June 26 – Newark, NJ / Performing Arts Center Summer Series
June 28+29 – Omaha, NB / Summer Arts Festival
July 3 – New York City / Joe’s Pub
July 4+5 -London, Ontario / Sunfest
July 6 – Toronto / Afrofest
July 8 – Montreal / Nuits d’Afrique
(3 week Australia Tour)
July 31 – Los Angeles, CA / Skirball Cultural Center
Aug 2+3 – Santa Cruz, CA / venue TBD / concert & workshops
Aug 4+5 – Berkeley, CA / Workshops at Mahea Uchiyama,
Center for International Dance
Aug 6 – Berkeley, CA / Ashkenaz
Aug 7 – Redding, CA / Market Street Series
Aug 9+10 – East Lansing, MI / Great Lakes Folk Festival
Aug 11+12+13 – Detroit, MI / CAMP Detroit and more TBD
Aug 14 – Portland, OR / Portland Zoo Series
Aug 15 – Eugene, OR / WOW Hall
Aug 16 – Seattle, WA / Ballard Fire House
Aug 30 – NYC, NY / Cornelia Street Cafe
Aug 31 – NYC, NY / Workshops- TBD
Pending dates: Spokane, WA / Tucson, AZ / Santa Barbara, CA / Philadelphia, PA / Denver, CO
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.