27 August 2007

Monday's mp3: From Zimfest With Love

Zimfest 2007 at SPSCC, Olympia WA USAIt's over, and I dragged myself out of bed this morning with my ears still full of the sounds of mbira and marimba and hosho and drums. Zimfest 2007 is history.

The final evening's performance included Hokoyo Youth Marimba ensemble; the mbira-backed rapping of Fafi a.k.a. 3% ; more marimba by Nyamuziwa; Erica Azim & friends on mbira; the high-energy sounds of Bongo Love; and mbira masters Cosmas Magaya and Beauler Dyoko closing out the evening.

Bongo Love at Zimfest 2007It's hard to pick a favorite of all the stellar performers at the festival, but I think SoundRoots readers will particularly enjoy the sounds of Bongo Love, a quartet of musicians from Zimbabwe who have made a big splash touring and teaching here in the Pacific Northwest this summer. The group members are John Mambira (lead vocals and drums), Themba Mawoko (marimba), Mpho "Shoes" Mambira (baritone marimba), and Trymore "Guchi" Jumbo (mbira).

Bongo Love makes a huge and energetic sound live -- just the thing to bring a weary crowd back to their feet for one last dance party. And they make me wonder why more groups don't use marimba for their bass lines...it's an amazing sound. They played this song last night...one that any lover of African music is probably familiar with.

[mp3] Bongo Love: Malaika
from the album Afrocoustics

For a glimpse of Bongo Love in action, check out this video.
And check out more photos from Zimfest.

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