Mbira Jam Sessions

by Eliza C. Thompson

Looking to add a new instrument to your musical repertoire? If you live in NYC, this weekend you can learn to play the mbira, a traditional instrument of the Shona people from Zimbabwe. Patience Chaitezvi and Erica Azim will be leading an intensive mbira workshop on Saturday and Sunday. Or if you’re a little less musically inclined, head on over to the Calvin-Morris Gallery and catch their performance.

Erica and Patience are part of MBIRA, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving traditional Shona music and raising money for Zimbabwean musicians and instrument makers. According to MBIRA’s website, mbira music still popular today may have been played over 700 years ago — talk about golden oldies.

Above is a video of Erica playing a tune on the mbira. Pretty beautiful stuff! More details on the performance and workshop after the jump.

Hosho and Drums Workshop
Thursday Sept. 24th: Patience Chaitezvi teaches Shona drumming 6 pm $15, hosho 7 pm $15, or $25 for both classes. Jordan L. Mott School 270 E. 167th St. at College Ave, Bronx, NY.

Mbira Performance
Friday September 25th at 8 pm
Cavin-Morris Gallery, 210 11th Ave, Ste. 201
$10 at the door (cash or check to MBIRA, no card processing)
Please bring your own pillow to sit on, a few chairs will be provided for elders and those with disabilities.

Intensive Mbira Workshop
Saturday and Sunday September 26-27
For more info or to enroll, email [email protected] or call 510-306-0145. All levels, from new first-timer-never-touched-one-before up to advanced are welcome and will be taught in groups by level. $275 (inquire about possible one-day price if you can only come for one day).

video courtesy YouTube

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