Robert Browning Associates presents
Friday, April 28, 2017 at 8:00pm
Voices of the Ancestors: Mbira Music of Zimbabwe
Part of A World in Trance Festival – 3rd edition
Roulette, 509 Atlantic Avenue (at 3rd Ave), Downtown Brooklyn
For centuries the Shona people of Zimbabwe have connected with the spirits of ancestors. These spirits are summoned by spirit mediums at biras, all-night ritual ceremonies where mystical mbira (metal-pronged thumb piano) music is played and people participate through dancing, singing, ululating and sometimes whistling. The collective energy created evokes a trance atmosphere that summons the spirits of ancestors to come and give daily guidance and healing.
The internationally renowned traditional mbira master Chartwell Dutiro (mbira, lead vocal, dance), who played mbira in bira ceremonies in his native Zimbabwe from the age of four and is best known for his eight-year stint with Zimbabwe’s famed Thomas Mapfumo & the Blacks Unlimited, is joined by his son Shorai Dutiro (mbira, vocal), Glenn West (mbira, vocal), Nora Balaban (mbira, vocal) and Bill Ruyle (hosho – gourds, tabla – tuned drums, percussion).
“If you can talk you can sing. If you can walk, you can dance – or just sit and reflect.” – Zimbabwean proverb
“enchanting” Time Out New York
Tickets: $25; seniors, students $21
Made possible in part with public funding provided by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State legislature.