Mokoomba set to open for American singer The Weekend

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Jonathan Mbiriyamveka

Harare -- Mokoomba, one of the most exciting bands to come out of Zimbabwe in the post-independence era, are scheduled to open for US soul singer, The Weekend, on the main stage at a festival called Lollapaloozade in Berlin, Germany.
The festival scheduled for September 8 will present yet another milestone for the touring group which also had a dance at the New York’s Apollo Theatre, which is one of the world’s most prestigious international festivals and venues.
Marcus Gora, the manager of the group, confirmed the tour and said they were happy to share the stage with world renowned artists as big as The Weekend.
“We are slowly realising our dream of becoming an international act and we hope to continue growing our fan base at home,” Gora said.
 The explosively talented six-man crew from north-western Zimbabwe has toured over 40 countries on five continents.
Zimbabwe’s best-known musical icons, Thomas Mapfumo and Oliver Mtukudzi, exemplify the culture of the country’s Shona majority.
But Mokoomba’s music is rooted in the Tonga, Luvale and Nyanja rhythms and melodies from Victoria Falls, where the six guys who make up the group grew up together.
Mokoomba’s signature sound is a mix of indigenous elements — including stirring songs from boys’ initiation ceremonies — and influences from modern regional styles, such as Congolese soukous and South African vocal polyphony.
The album Rising Tide released (2012), which is more acoustic, and Roosty Luyando (2017) — have garnered universal acclaim.
But nothing compares to the band’s kinetic, choreographed stage show, centred around mesmerising lead singer Mathias Muzaza.
Muzaza can coo and croon, growl like a dancehall braggadocio, toss in a little falsetto and vibrato or soar into his full-throated, leathery smooth tenor reminiscent of Salif Keita, in a West African griot’s wail.
Mokoomba was recently inducted into Afropop Worldwide's 30th Anniversary Gala and Hall of Fame.
Inductees into the Afropop Hall of Fame are chosen for their artistic excellence and their significant roles in connecting Americans to Africa. Past inductees include King Sunny Ade, Youssou N’Dour, Oumou Sangare, Angelique Kidjo, Habib Koite, Harry Belafonte, Oliver Mtukudzi and Thomas Mapfumo.

 

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