World Refugee Day 2021

Today was a beautiful celebration of resilience and culture at CAPI’s Twin Cities World Refugee Day, held virtually this year.  I was honored to be able to perform several pieces for the celebration, marking my fourth year participating in this special festival. This was the first recurring event that I was invited to perform at upon moving to Minnesota and I am always energized by the people that come together to celebrate on this day.
The first track on my forthcoming album, Libandzuwa, speaks about immigrants, refugees, and other travelers.  “Fly” speaks to the fact that we are all migratory creatures, who for various reasons travel to different places over our lifetimes. In these modern times, we may call these travelers “immigrants,” “refugees,” and “displaced people,” but what I believe to be true is that there is a calling for all travelers, whether their ancestors came against their will as slaves, or if they came by choice to conquer the land. Our roots call us to the lands of our ancestors so that our souls can rest in peace, fertilizing opportunity for future generations.
Listen to a sample of the song “Fly” on my HearNow page, or see where you can download or stream it.
(Nyttu Chongo – Mbira Dzava Dzimu, Vocals // Lucas Trigueiro – Kora // Fabian – Saxophone)

Minneapolis International Festival 2021

What a joy to be a part of the first virtual Minneapolis International Festival hosted by the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board.  This event is usually one held in person in the beautiful parks of our city, but due to COVID-19 we moved the platform to a virtual environment.  Nearly 300 people have streamed my performance from the second night of the festival, March 19th.  In all, the festival was made up of 18 days of music, arts, and culture form March 18-30th.  I hope you were able to tune into a couple of the acts. Some may be available for viewing on the Minneapolis Park Board website.  See you all next year!

Farewell to 2020

This has been…a remarkable year, to put it lightly.  I regret my silence here on my blog, because it has been an eventful year for me in many ways.  I have been busy recording my first album, Libandzuwa: The Power of the Sun, which has been delayed slightly but is set for release mid-year next year.  I have relocated from the East side of the metro to the West, have met many incredible musicians (virtually), and had the privilege of performing in several virtual performances for the City of Minneapolis, foundations, and international venues.  I feel blessed to have been able to continue to grow my artistic roots here in Minnesota in this challenging year, even though I have not been able to perform in person or join in the annual events I have historically participated in.
My final performance of 2020 will be this coming Tuesday, December 29th for Thrivent Financial and Minnesota Music Coalition.  I will be performing in the 5-6pm slot of their “Farewell to 2020 Party.” It is free and open to the public, so I hope you tune in.  There will be many artists performing in 10-15 minute slots, so it is bound to be a good time.
I wish you all health, peace, and hope in the new year. See you in 2021.
Link to Thrivent Tuesdays: Farewell to 2020 Party! 

5pm-6pm Performance

REFLECTIONS ON THE Residency in Urbana-Champaign

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.

Workshop given at the Spurlock Museum of World Cultures

Residency in Urbana-Champaign

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:

Recipient of the MN State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant, 2020

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:


All-Ages Music Lesson at Anoka County Library

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.

World Refugee Day 2018

Thank you to everyone who joined us for Twin Cities World Refugee Day 2018.  Once again, it was a beautiful day filled with music and culture.

A special thanks to my friend, colleague, and incredible musician Clifton Nesseth for performing a piece with me this afternoon.