Announcing the release of “Zimbabwe Today!”

I’m very excited to introduce an album of new music from Zimbabwe.  “Zimbabwe Today,” released today through Wide World Artists, is the first compilation of new music from Zimbabwe to emerge in over a decade.  And 10% of the profit from the album will be donated to Tariro!

Wide World Artists is a new record company founded by James Collins.  A filmmaker and Fulbright Fellow whose fieldwork in South Africa documented the work of the Field Band Foundation, which works to bring musical opportunities to low-income youth.  Check out his blog to read about his experiences.

James and I met in Zimbabwe last year, when he came up on a brief visit from South Africa.  A few months ago, he contacted me to ask if I would be interested in getting involved in the release of the “Zimbabwe Today” album.  We decided to form a partnership between Wide World Artists and Tariro, and I jumped into the project, identifying artists and songs for inclusion on the album, and writing bios and descriptions of each artist’s music for the website.

In the process, I became familiar with many new artists myself, and I absolutely love many of the songs featured on the album.  For me, some of the highlights include Hope Masike’s song “The Land,” Mathias Julius’s “Der Pon,” and Alexio’s hit song “Shaina.”  In addition, the album features Bongo Love, who has toured extensively in the US with the band Dispatch, selling out Madison Square Gardens.  It also includes songs by Selmor Mtukudzi, daughter of the Zimbabwean music legend Oliver Mtukudzi, Tendai Manatsa, son of another music legend, Zexie Manatsa.

The vision of Wide World Artists is unique in making independently produced music from Zimbabwe available internationally, primarily through digital media.  I love this innovative way to support artists and communities in Zimbabwe, and I’m so happy that Tariro is linked to this initiative.  Don’t miss this great album, available online through Wide World Artists

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