Stella Chiweshe Quartet

Stella Chiweshe Quartet

BandWorld

Zimbabwe's foremost mbira player Stella Rimbisai Chiweshe - The Queen of Mbira - haunting mbira lines with percussion and call & response singing behind her evocative vocals. She sings and plays songs of liberation, spiritual experience and social commentary.

Biography

STELLA CHIWESHE
The Mbira Queen of Zimbabwe

Her Majesty the Queen of Mbira Music - as Stella Rambisai Chiweshe is often called, is the first female artist to gain in prestige and be honoured with recognition in a music tradition that is traditionally dominated by men. This tradition is Mbira music - known as the backbone of Zimbabwean music.
She is one of the few musicians in Zimbabwe and Southern Africa, who for more than 35 years has worked in the role of a traditional Mbira musician. When
Zimbabwe was still a Rhodesian colony, Stella secretly was recognized as an Mbira player at forbidden ceremonies. Before independence Mbira instruments had to be kept hidden, because the colonial government had banned the instrument fearing its magical powers. Playing Mbira was punished with imprisonment. After playing through the night at forbidden reunions, Stella then returned to her every-day-struggle of survival as a young girl within a colonial environment.
Stella Rambisai Chiweshe is nicknamed “Ambuya Chinyakare” (Grandmother of Traditional Music). She is a well respected and an important woman in the music industry, performing in night clubs, theatres and festivals both nationally and internationally. She has set an example to female musicians in Zimbabwe.
Stella is a professional artist in the international music circuit. In Zimbabwe she 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 solo Mbira 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 popular music to show the depth and power of her traditional spiritual music at home and abroad. Stella’s experience has stimulated her to introduce Mbira music to the occidental context without loosing the relation to her Zimbabwean tradition. She creates warm dance grooves as well as popular songs always based on Mbira rhythms.
The fusion of Stella’s music and contemporary guitars has not only made her an international figure, but also a cultural Ambassador of Zimbabwe.
As well as her celebrated local success combining Mbira with Marimba in modern Zimbabwean music, Stella has toured Europe regularly since 1983 and has released five internationally successful albums: Ndizvozvo Ambuya, 1987 - Chisi, 1989 - Kumusha, 1991, Shungu, 1994 and Talking Mbira 2003. The track: Kumusha won her a 1993 Billboard Music Award for performance on the Adult/ Alternative/ World Music Album of the year. Her album Double Check - Two Sides of Zimbabwe’s Mbira (released in 2006) celebrates both the artist in the year of her 60th birthday and the label with its100th release. In 2007 she toured successfully in Canada and USA with her band and gave wonderful solo concerts in Europe.

Discography

Stella Chiweshe: Mombe Part 1 and 2. (SU 146) 7° single Zimbabwe
Stella Chiweshe: Kasahwa/Nhemamusasa (SU 153) “
Stella Chiweshe: Mharapara/Gorekore (SU 198) “
Stella Chiweshe: Chakwi/Chembere (SU 199) “
Stella Chiweshe: Chikomo/Chemutengure (SU 209) “
Stella Chiweshe: Muropa/Gumamuchenje (SU 210) “
Stella Chiweshe: Tayireva/Karigamombe (SU 307) “
Stella Chiweshe: Nematare/Gombemukombere (SU 311) “
Stella Chiweshe: Tadzungaira/Bukatiende (SU 380) “
Stella Chiweshe: Shumba/Nhetembo (SU 461) “
Stella Chiweshe: Marariromba/Chivaraidze (SU 464) “
Stella Chiweshe: Nyamaropa/Mahororo (SU 530) “
Stella Chiweshe: Katakata/Maponongwe (SU 545) “
Stella Chiweshe: Huranda/Rudziyakamwe (SU 571) “
Stella Chiweshe: Gomoguru/ Gwendurugwe (SU 572) “
Stella Chiweshe: Wasara Wasara/Pasirinamashura (A.P.407) “
Stella Chiweshe: Makarekare/Mayaya
Stella Chiweshe: Chipindura/Chakwi

VA: Beat Apartheid: Compilation with Stella Chiweshe: Kasahwa Piranha (pir1), LP

Stella Chiweshe: Ambuya? Piranha (pir2),LP/ CD
Licence to: Globestyle/UK; Shumba/Zimbabwe Shanachie/USA
VA: Women of Africa. Compilation with S. Chiweshe: Sarura Wako CSA/ UK,LP/MC
VA: Worldmusic. Compilation with S.Chiweshe Mugomba Line/RFA, CD/LP
Stella Chiweshe: Ndizvozvo Piranha (pir21),minLP, Licence to Globestyle/UK
Stella Chiweshe: Ndizvozvo/Ambuya? Piranha (7-2)CD Licence to Globestyle/UK

Stella Chiweshe: Chisi Piranha LP/CD (pir27lp, pir27cd) Licence to Meta/Japan.
Stella Chiweshe: Kumusha Piranha, CD/MC (pir42-2)
Stella Chiweshe: Shungu Piranha (pir47-2, CD)
Stella Chiweshe: The best of Stella Chiweshe Shanachie/USA, CD
The Healing Tree (No. 66004)
V.A.: Sacred Music, Compilatition with Stella Chiweshe Gorekore ARC Music/UK,CD
Stella Chiweshe: Talking Mbira Piranha (PIR1681) CD

Stella Chiweshe: Double Check - Two Sides of Zimbabwe’s Mbira (CD-PIR1900)
CD1 - Trance Hits / CD 2 - Classic Hits