Leonard Chiyanike & Erica Azim
Wednesday, August 8, 2012, 8:00 pm (doors open at 7:00 pm)healing music of the ancestor spirits of Zimbabwe $20.50 advance / $22.50 at doorPurchase tickets online
August 08 8:00 pm

Leonard ChiyanikeLeonard Chiyanike is a master of mbira.  He has been playing this traditional instrument of his native Zimbabwe for nearly fifty years, and making instruments of the highest quality for nearly forty.  A beautiful singer fluent in many regional styles and tunings, Leonard plays with great technical proficiency and deep reverence for the spiritual foundations of this healing music.  The mbira, sometimes described as a thumb piano, is made with steel keys and the wood of the mubvamaropa tree, and has a sound akin to that of a steel drum or a marimba, but with its own particular tone and lilt.  “Mbira is for the spirits,” Leonard says, “and it is not something you can just play around with…  If I am teaching anyone, Erica Azimblack or white, I try to teach them that the instrument and music has to be taken good care of, and that when one plays it, they have to play it with a purpose.”

Erica Azim is a Berkeleyan who fell in love with mbira when she first heard it at age 16, studied with traditional masters in what was then called Rhodesia, and went on to found the nonprofit organization MBIRA to support the mbira tradition in Zimbabwe and make the music available worldwide.  She plays one of the first instruments that Leonard Chiyanike ever made.

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