Her Majesty – The Queen of Mbira music from Zimbabwe – as Stella Rambisai Chiweshe is affectionately called, is the first female artist to have gained in prestige and to have been honoured with recognition in a music tradition largely dominated by men: Mbira music – known as the backbone of Zimbabwean music. The mbira consists of 22 to 28 metal keys mounted on a hardwood soundboard, and is usually placed inside a gourd resonator (deze). The keys are played with the two thumbs plucking down and the right forefinger plucking up.
She is one of the few musicians in Zimbabwe and Southern Africa, who has, for more than 40 years, been working in the role of traditional Mbira musician. She is a well respected and important woman in the music business too, where bands perform at festivals, in theatres, churches, schools, community halls as well as in family homes for their ancestors. She has set an example for the rest of the women musicians in Zimbabwe. She’s a successful professional artist, both in the entertainment industry and in the international music circuit. In Zimbabwe she’s released more than 20 singles of Mbira music of which her first single Kasahwa went gold in 1975.
After Independence, she was invited to become a member of the original National Dance Company of Zimbabwe, where she soon took the part of a leading Mbira Solo player, dancer and actress. Her work will always be remembered. Her solo work has established herself as one of the most original artists in the contemporary African scene using mbira music to show the depth and power of her traditional spiritual music at home and abroad. Chiweshe’s experience has stimulated her to introduce Mbira music to the occidental context without loosing the relation to her Zimbabwean tradition. Since then, she has won several awards in her country. In 2003 the University of Zimbabwe honoured her with the Masters Degree in Arts.
Greg Fox is a New York City born-and bred drummer, multidisciplinary artist, and teacher. He has played on and released about 50 records since 2008, including his work with Liturgy, ZS, Ben Frost, Colin Stetson, Skeletons, Hieroglyphic Being, Man Forever, and others, as well as with his own solo work and his projects GDFX and Guardian Alien.
“Good drummers aren’t uncommon. Great ones are. We still mourn Keith Moon of the Who and John Bonham of Led Zeppelin as the jolly bashers of modernity. Here comes the future, they seemed to be telling us with their sensational ka-blammo. Together, they popularized the notion that, in rock-and-roll, a drummer’s unsolemn duty is to establish a sense of time while happily smashing it to bits. Greg Fox reactivates that idea for the Information Age.” – Chris Richards, Washington Post
Fox has toured worldwide with various groups and collaborations, held residencies at The Clocktower NYC and Pioneer Works, and was awarded “Best Drummer in NYC” by the Village Voice in 2011. Having spent most of 2016 at home in New York, he is currently working on new collaborations and compositions, teaching individual and group drum lessons, and exploring new territory as a solo artist, using a hybridized electroacoustic drum setup to explore new dimensions through the traditional gestures of the modern drummer and the possibilities inherent in electronic and computer music.
Stella Chiweshe (Zimbabwe) and Greg Fox (USA)
Wednesday, 26. April 2017 | Door 20:00 | Start 21:00 CET
Musikbrauerei | Greifswalder Strasse 23a | 10407 Berlin/Prenzlauer Berg
Photo by Roland Owsnitzki.
There is limited capacity to the salon. Tickets only available at the door. Please be on time.