posted September 11, 2000

Music of Zimbabwe on Sept. 28

Zimbabwean musicians Forward Kwenda and
Erica Azim will present a concert/lecture on Zimbabwean
"mbira" music at Hope College in the Knickerbocker Theatre,
located in downtown Holland at 86 East 8th Street, on
Thursday, Sept. 28, at 8 p.m.

The public is invited. Admission is free.
Forward Kwenda of Zimbabwe and Erica Azim of
California will perform the ancient, spiritual, traditional
music of the Shona people of Zimbabwe. Their instrument,
the mbira, is constructed of a hardwood base and forged,
tuned, metal keys. It is usually placed inside a large
calabash or gourd for amplification.

The mbira has been played for more than a thousand
years in Africa at religious ceremonies, in royal courts and
for social occasions. The deep voice of the instrument is
considered powerful enough to bring rain during a drought,
evoke guidance from deceased ancestors and chase away
harmful spirits.

Forward Kwenda says of his mbira-playing
experience, "When I pick up my mbira, I don't know what is
going to happen--the music is so much greater than a human
being can understand."

Additional information may be obtained by calling
Paula Savaglio at the college's department of music, (616)
395-7655.