Tag Archives: Chartwell Dutiro

Artist Profiles: Chartwell Dutiro

Chartwell Dutiro

Chartwell Dutiro, Zimbabwean musician and musicologist, lives in Britain. He sings, writes and plays music with his group Spirit Talk Mbira. He also teaches at London University and gives workshops worldwide.

Chartwell Dutiro used traditional music with words in Shona to protest against stale authority and the oppression of colonialism, which has left a strong mark on him. His family was relocated into a protected village when he was very young.

Chartwell Dutiro’s first-name was given to him by missionaries when he was a child, although his original name is Shorai, which means ̶You can underestimate me if you wish”. Chartwell began playing the mbira at four, although the traditional instrument was banned at that time. Later he played the mbira for a spiritualist. He also took up the saxophone.

Chartwell Dutiro

Just like his instrument, the Mbira, is used to call the spirits during traditional ceremonies, Chartwell Dutiro calls for guidance from the spirits of the soil and sings that the oppressors have made it hard to survive, but then the reformer does not swim with the current”. His musical fame spread and, one day, he teamed up with Zimbabwean celebrity Thomas Mapfumo and Blacks Unlimited. This turned into an eight-year musical partnership.

Chartwell has been in Britain for six years. His music emphasizes spirituality but also has political messages. The song ‘Gamura makaka, that he recorded for Refugee Voices ‘ is about old men bossing people around and stale authority. He believes in the power of music: “I think music can bring people together. The moment we start playing music language doesn’t matter, the language is in the music”.

It’s too much, old men bossing people around Their presence is an overbearing weight to our hearts Here, there, and even there, you are the boss!

But I have got my arrow to serve as my word

Discography:

Dendere Ngoma (2010)

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Voices of the Ancestors: Mbira Music of Zimbabwe at ‘A World In Trance’ Music Series

Chartwell Dutiro

Traditional mbira maestro is set to perform Friday, April 28, 2017 at 8:00 pm at Roulette in New York City. The concert is part of the A World in Trance music series.

This concert of trance-like mbira music will present acclaimed mbira viertuoso Chartwell Dutiro on mbira, lead vocal, and dance. He played at all-night ritual ceremonies (biras) in his native Zimbabwe from the age of four and is best known for his eight-year period with Zimbabwe’s celebrated Thomas Mapfumo & the Blacks Unlimited. He will be joined by his son Shorai Dutiro (mbira, vocal), Glenn West (mbira, vocal), Nora Balaban (mbira, vocal) and Bill Ruyle (hosho – gourds, tabla – tuned drums, percussion).

His most recent album is Pasichigare (2014).

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‘A World In Trance’ Music Series in New York City

‘A World In Trance’, a 3-day festival featuring the spellbinding music of Zimbabwe, Iran, Pakistan and India will take place April 29-30 in New York City at Roulette.

This year’s series includes mbira music of Zimbabwe with masterful musician Chartwell Dutiro (April 28); enthralling 21st century trance world music with Niyaz featuring captivating vocalist Azam Ali (April 29); and exhilarating interpretations of Sufi qawwali with the US-based Riyaaz Qawwali (April 30).

Friday, April 28, 2017 8:00 p.m.
Chartwell Dutiro
Voices of the Ancestors: Mbira Music of Zimbabwe

Saturday, April 29, 2017 8:00 p.m.
Niyaz featuring Azam Ali
21st Century Global Trance Music

Sunday, April 30, 2017 7:00 p.m.
Riyaaz Qawwali
Sufi Music of Pakistan & India
Roulette

509 Atlantic Ave at 3rd Ave near BAM & Barclays Center, Downtown Brooklyn
Tickets: roulette.org, 917-267-0363
More at www.aworldintrance.com

headline photo: Niyaz

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