Tariro Marimba and Dance Ensemble’s Performance at the Mannenburg with Mbira dzeMuninga on January 14

Tariro students rehearsing for their performance at the Mannenberg

In this guest blog, Cathy from Sadza Marimba shares her recent experience working with Tariro students in Zimbabwe.  Thank you Cathy for giving us the latest update from Zimbabwe!  Here is what Cathy has to share with us:

We thought to begin the year with a party celebrating the hard work the Tariro girls have put in learning to playing marimba and singing and dancing traditional Zimbabwean music. As always, nothing is ever as it seems…suddenly the party turned into an opportunity for the girls to showcase their talent at the Mannenburg in Harare, with Mbira dze Muninga and some of their Zimbabwean and American musician friends. The small party with family and friends turned into a big performance at one of the hottest night spots in Harare.

The girls usually rehearse saturday mornings at the Chimbera school; rehearsals continued as usual. A final dress rehearsal with all the musicians the day before the event was held at a home in Emerald Hills. Outside on the sprawling lawn, with newly tuned instruments and all the other musicians looking on, the girls rehearsed and fine tuned their performance for hours. It proved to be  fruitful.

The girls opened the show Thursday evening, beaming as they took the stage in their performance costumes. They shook the house with their great sound, awesome voices and amazing dance skills. The audience was enthralled, amazed at the talent and proud of the work that these girls are doing to keep their culture alive.  Several musicians and dancers from the audience jumped up and joined them, moved by their energy. The girls came out full blast with an incredible show of talent and energy.

The evening continued with songs from the five CD’s that Mbira dze Muninga collaborated on during their summer 09 tour to the states. (Sungano, Ndiri Mumhanzi, Muninga, Rova Mbira, Tiringeiwo).  The girls were asked to remain on stage and participate in singing and dancing with some of those songs as well.

No matter that there was school early the next morning, the girls stayed on to enjoy the show as part the full house  audience packed with friends, family, musicians,  as well as a contingency from the US embassy who came to see what the collaboration between American musicians and Zimbabwean musicians is really all about. All were amazed to see the Americans singing in Shona and playing traditional Zimbabwean music.

A night to remember, Tariro girls opening at the Mannenburg, and sharing the stage with some of the top musicians of traditional music in Zimbabwe. Many thanks to all for the opportunity and the great experience.

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