Monday, February 27, 2012

Wazimbo: the Golden Voice of Mozambique in Toronto March 8

From a release:
Batuki Music Society presents WAZIMBO & Orchestra Marrabenta de Toronto
the Golden Voice of Mozambique, the magical Marrabenta style...
direct from Maputo, first tour in Canada!

March 8, 2012 at Lula Lounge
Tickets: $15 at the door (open at 8:00 pm)

WAZIMBO’s music is a mix of big band sounds, Latin melodies and unique African dance rhythms, typical of Lusophone (Portuguese speaking Africa).

Humberto Carlos Benfica, known as Wazimbo, is one of the greatest voices of Mozambique and one of the most famous singers for the style of music called marrabenta. Wazimbo started his musical career in 1964 with the Silverstars (continued as a singer with the Geiziers), performing a colonial mix of international pop music with a Brazilian tinge in Mozambique’s capital Maputo. After independence from Portugal in 1975, Wazimbo was the only singer employed by state radio and worked with its band, ‘Radio Mocambique’.

He became the lead vocalist of Orchestra Marrabenta Star de Mocambique in 1979 and played with various members from the big band of Radio Mocambique. Orchestra Marrabenta Star de Mocambique developed a full and funky style of music named marrabenta featuring electric guitars, powerful horn lines and soulful vocals.

In 1988 Wazimbo recorded with Orchestra Marrabenta de Mocambique, the popular ‘Harare Sessions’ in Zimbabwe as Mozambique did not have a recording studio or any music industry. During a recording break Wazimbo played his legendary ‘Nwahulwana’ ballad while the tape machine was still running, discovered later in London when the mixing took place. The song was also used in the soundtrack to the Jack Nicholson film, ‘The Pledge’, directed by Sean Penn. The lyrics of the song translate like this; ‘You are a night bird, moving after dark from bar to bar…’

After becoming extremely popular in Mozambique, Wazimbo and Orchestra Marrabenta Stars toured Europe and released two CDs on Germany’s Piranha label. Both showcased a varied mix of dance styles plus the occasional, strikingly soulful ballad. The 90’s saw a return to peace in Mozambique, but by then there were no recording studios or music venues and the group finally disbanded in 1995. Since that time Wazimbo has had a solo career and recorded a CD in South Africa called ‘Makwero’.

Wazimbo will be accompanied by a Toronto lineup of musicians including Tichaona Maredza, Gordin Mapika, Larry Lewis, Ruben Esguerra and Sam Petite.

Batuki Music Society gratefully acknowledges the support of Canadian Heritage

Wazimbo & Orchestra Marrabenta de Toronto at Lula Lounge
Presented By Batuki Music Society
Thursday, March 8, 2012

Tickets: $15 at the door (open at 8:00 pm)
9:00pm until 11:00pm

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