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Zimbeat is a San Diego-based ensemble that performs the dynamic village music of Zimbabwe, Africa. The music is based on the Shona peoples' traditional instrument, the mbira Dzavadzimu. Consisting of 22 to 28 metal keys mounted on a hardwood soundboard, the mbira Dzavadzimu is played with two thumbs and the right forefinger. Hypnotic interlocking melodies and spirited African rhythms culminate in the captivating and compelling music that is found in traditional and contemporary Zimbabwe. Zimbeat performs as an mbira group, a marimba ensemble, and an afro-pop electric band.
ZIMBEAT has been described as .
“a village fiesta on stage.” Offering its audience a
‘San Diego meets South Africa' sound, Zimbeat
combines traditional Shona mbira music, a modern
Zimbabwe–style marimba ensemble, fierce polyrhythmic
percussion and afro–beat horn lines that conjure every
being to rise up and dance. While their instrumental
compositions approach chimurenga, jazz, and afrorock,
their vocal numbers, sung in Shona and English,
relay a message that is positive, peaceful and powerful.
Zimbeat features a dynamic set list that is sure to inspire
from start to finish, flowing from a full band line-up, to a
marimba ensemble, to a small traditional mbira group.
While they pride themselves on their unique sound, their
influences include Thomas Mapfumo, Oliver Mtukudzi,
Stella Chiweshe, Ephat Mujuru, Forward Kwenda,
Fela Kuti, Tony Allen, King Sunny Ade, Ebenezer Obey
and Abdullah Ibrahim. Their mission is for everyone to
have fun and dance to the music!