Zimbabwe salute Saturday at market, RAG
Roxbury — The Roxbury Arts Group salutes Zimbabwe on Saturday, July 10, in an all-day presentation of music, art and film highlighting Zimbabwe artists. The day begins at noon at The Pakatakan Farmers’ Market with a demonstration of the art of the mbira. This will be followed by an evening of film and music at The Roxbury Arts Center. Admission to the evening event, which includes a cocktail reception, is $15 for adults and $12 for seniors.
The mbira is one of the principal musical instruments of Zimbabwe’s Shona people of Zimbabwe, who believe that music is the gateway to your ancestors, who watch over you and serve as a medium to reach the gods. The mbira can be played at three levels: personal, village and national. At the personal level the instrument is played in solace as a form of meditation. The mbira is a duet instrument, with the kashaura playing the lead and the kutsinhira accompanying a beat behind.
At the Pakatakan Farmers’ Market, the artists will exploit multimedia technology to show the basic elements of the mbira and explain its relevance. They will demonstrate the language of mbira through basic song development, highlighting the cyclic nature of mbira, the call and response framework of its music and the deceptive complexity of the mbira DNA.
The evening portion of the tribute begins at 5:30 at The Roxbury Arts Center with cocktails and an opportunity to view the wire sculptures of 17-year-old Zimbabwe artist Arnold Dube, whose sculptures first came to the attention of local collectors by Dennis Gaboury as part of his ZimKids Project.
At 6 p.m. there will be a screening of Elinor Burkett and Errol Webber’s film, “iThemba,” about the band Liyana, the disabled Zimbabwean musicians who performed a sold out concert at RAG in 2009. This film, edited for distribution solely in Africa and Europe has been made available for this one-time American screening by Burkett, the Oscar –winning producer of “Music by Prudence.”
At 8 p.m. Solomon Murungu and Garikai Tirikoti will perform mbira music and pass out demonstration instruments to allow the audience to participate in this unique genre of indigenous music whose poetic wisdom has kept the Shona people of Zimbabwe spiritually connected to their ancestors for thousands of years.
Food, prepared by The Cha Cha Hut, will be available from 5:30-8 p.m.
A native of Zimbabwe, now living in the United States, Solomon Murungu is founder and managing director of Zambuko Project Unlimited (www.zambuko.com), which shares Africa’s cultural wealth with western audiences.
Gariaki Tirikoti began playing mbira at home in the Chihota communal area of Zimbabwe at the age of four. An mbira master known for taking the instrument to new heights by singing deep poetic lyrics in a sweet voice, arranging the music, and crafting high quality instruments, Tirikoti not only performs but also plays traditional mbira music for spirit ceremonies.
For more information and for reservations call 607 326-7908.