Zhambai Trio
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Zhambai Trio

Band World Folk


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Zhambai Trio formed in Vancouver, BC in 2010 following the musical inspiration of accomplished musicians Kurai Mubaiwa, Curtis Andrews and Navaro Franco. The group plays traditional and original music from Zimbabwe. It features ancient instruments such as mbiras and hosho (shakers), as well as the more contemporary marimba. The rhythms of the instruments combined with the haunting quality of the vocal harmonies are at once upbeat and trance-inducing. Zhambai Trio has performed at numerous venues in Vancouver to enthusiastic audiences.

“Zhambai” means scream in the Zimbabwean Shona language. The group's central instrument, the mbira, is a melodic 25 key Zimbabwean lamellophone that in Shona mythology is believed to connect the living with the spirit world of the ancestors.

Kurai Mubaiwa has been an established world musician and music teacher since 1994. He has toured across Europe, West Africa, Southern Africa and across Canada opening for and/or performing with artists such as Chiwoniso Maraire, Cesaria Evora, Andy Brown and Vusi Mahlasela at internationally recognized concerts and festivals.

Curtis Andrews is a percussionist, composer and teacher with recognized skills in African, jazz, Indian, country, rock, and improvisational music. The recipient of multiple awards for his original music, he performs and records with a wide variety of groups and artists. Through extensive studies in Ghana, India, and southern Africa, he has developed a deep knowledge of the history and performance of music from those areas.

Navaro Franco is a musician, dancer and teacher inspired by ancient traditions of earth based music and dance. She is interested in the role of traditional knowledge to support consciousness, community, and healing. Within her 20 years of experience, she has studied and performed Zimbabwean music in Canada and Southern Africa, primarily with Marimba Muzuva, and the Chigamba Family and their band Mhembero.

For festivals and presenters, Zhambai offers numerous options aside from just performing. Each member has extensive experience teaching and can offer workshops in mbira, marimba, dance and hand drumming. We have experience in teaching adults, schools groups, teens...anybody!! Further, collaboration with other artists is very much welcomed and desired if possible. The mbira is quite a versatile instrument.