Masaisai Zim Mbira and Dance

Masaisai Zim Mbira and Dance

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We are a group of mainly Zimbabwean musicians playing both traditional and electric African music. We feature mbira (a large thumb-piano), dance, marimba, singing, and a full band. Thomas Mapfumo is best know for the style of music we play which irresistibly moves our audiences to their feet.

Biography

Our music is based upon the traditions of the mbira dza Vadzimu, a giant lamellaphone or "thumb-piano," from Zimbabwe. The mbira has been played for over 800 years in our country and has a rich repertoire of music, dance, and song. The sound of interlocking mbiras is both energizing and healing. Many fans become students of the instrument. Upon our three mbiras we stack up vocals, shakers, and hand drums in the first set, calling down the spirits and our ancestors to join us. In the second set, we add the guitars and drum kit to really get things shaking. The effect is magical and invigorating, while our dancers show the audience just how to move to our music in syncopated choreography. Our music is an ageless medicine for children, youth, adults, and elders. It has a universal appeal both to those who know it well, and to people who have never heard this kind of "chimurenga" music. We came together because of the waves, the masaisai, that have spread from Zimbabwe, and because we love to remember how good our home is through music. We will transport you there.

Lyrics

all our songs

Written By: Ozzy Chivero

Our songs are sung in Zimbabwean Shona and English and deal with timeless themes, from love, to fear, to farming, to hope, hunting, and on.

Discography

We are in the process of compiling a demo: www.myspace.com/masaisai

Set List

First set of "traditional" songs:

-Nyamamusongo (hunting meat and blood)
-Bangidza (we have shown you)
-Kariga Mombe (to throw a bull, be invincible)
-Todzungaira (a prayer to the Ancestors)
-Nhemamusasa (a temporary shelter)
-Dande (a place to go to)
-Shumba (the lion)

Second set of full band songs:

-Madhunamatuna (strange occurrences)
-Mapadza (working hard is the only way to success)
-Long Journey
-Maikoro (love song)
-Vaingomudawo (My whole family loved her)
-Ndaneta (A song to mother, telling her of experiences away from home, how hard things are, I am tired of working here in Canada. I
thought things would be easy)
-Mandikanganwa (a call to the creator, are we forgotten?)
-Kumadokero (it seems like we now belong to the West, we do everything the Western way)
-Mapirokesi-Pillowcase (love song)