The overarching theme of this body of work is a calling back home. The mbira is a spiritual instrument that is capable of calling lost souls back to their ancestral roots. I believe that I am not the creator of this music, instead it comes to me from the spiritual world. These are the sounds of the universe. Some of these songs come to me in dreams. The artists that collaborated on this album were selected song by song not only by my ancestors, but theirs as well. Their contributions carry meaning and show the power of the spirits that connect us to each other.
Quando você nasceu, eu me renascí. When you were born, I was reborn.
Quando voce riu, eu chorei. When you laughed, I cried.
Quando voce sorriu When you smiled,
Nivonile mashory. I saw miracles.
Quando voce chorou, When you cried,
Aprendi nova canção. I learned a new song.
Nyttu Chongo – Xipendane, Vocals // Carlos Cartys – Pan Pipe Flute, Quenacho // Matt Grosso – Electronic Drum Kit
Through the support of the Center for World Music at the University of Illinois and the Spurlock Museum of World Cultures, I spent the end of January in Urbana-Champaign performing at the Global Roots Festival, the Spurlock Museum of World Cultures, and the University of Illinois. It was an amazing experience to share the music of Mozambique with a community so eager to learn and get out of their chairs to dance. I’ve shared a few pictures and videos from the events of the week below. I will add more in a couple of weeks.
Through the support of the Center for World Music at the University of Illinois and the Spurlock Museum of World Cultures, I will be performing a series of workshops and shows in Urbana-Champaign from January 29th through February 1st. I am pleased to be able to participate in this residency and share my music with the community of Illinois. You can find information about my series of performances on my calendar, or read more on the University of Illinois website.
See more about my performances for the public at this link:
I am proud to share that I have received the honor of being named a 2020 Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative grantee. The Artist Initiative grant program is designed to support and assist professional Minnesota artists at various stages in their careers by encouraging artistic development, nurturing artistic creativity, and recognizing the contributions of individual artists to the creative environment of the state of Minnesota. Grants are awarded for projects that will enhance or expand artistic skills or process, and advance an artist’s career by helping them generate greater visibility with and exposure to potential audiences. With this grant, I will produce my first album titled Libandzuwa: The Power of the Sun and establish several performances and workshops with the public.
As a fiscal year 2020 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, many of this year’s activities are made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature, and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. You can read more about the Artist Initiative program and other 2020 recipients here: http://www.arts.state.mn.us/grants/2020/2020-awarded-ai.htm
What an amazing time playing at the Festival of Nations–for the second time ever. Please enjoy these pictures from my performances at the atrium and cafe stages. I’m working on uploading some videos soon.
I had a great time sharing music experiences at the Anoka County Library, especially seeing children getting excited about instruments from my home country. This is the best reward any musician can have–sharing with young musicians is far better than having a big stage or playing for a large audience. I am grateful for this special Saturday we were able to share together.