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.
It'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:
from the album Afrocoustics
For a glimpse of Bongo Love in action, check out this video.
And check out more photos from Zimfest.