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Mbira Music of Zimbabwe Comes
To Hope College on September 28th

Posted September 11, 2000

HOLLAND -- 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.

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