HARARE – Mushandirapamwe, an album being produced by classical musician Tanyaradzwa Tawengwa in honour of Mushandirapamwe Hotel which was established by her grandfather in 1972, looks set to take mbira music to new heights.
Tanyaradzwa, who put Zimbabwe on the map last year after coming second in the University of Kentucky-hosted Alltech Vocal Scholarship Competition which featured 21 contestants from all over the world, previewed the upcoming album on Sunday at the historic hotel which is located in Highfield, Harare.
The audience, which included songstress Hope Masike, producer Mono Mukundu and several members of the Tawengwa extended family, was treated to a unique brand of mbira music. The blend of Tanyaradzwa’s smooth mbira beat, and her melodious voice which floated in beautiful sync with the voices of her five backing vocalists, the hwamanda and the hosho (calabash rattles),left the audience spellbound.
Tanyaradzwa’s classical music training was clearly evident on the songs she performed on Sunday. Unlike typical mbira music, the young Zimbabwean artiste’s songs have a high degree of order and precision.
The singers who backed Tanyaradzwa were Reward Takudzwa Kufakwedeke (19) from Kuwadzana, Kumbirai Obert Kamhunga (19) from Budiriro, Mitchel Mutsa Mvundura (23) also from Budiriro, assistant music director Fanes Chapo (21) from Mufakose and dance Captain Wendy Tsisi Muzite (27) from Chitungwiza.
The five young singers are receiving vocal training under the Mushandirapamwe Trust which Tanyaradzwa formed to nurture talented young musicians from high density areas.
Tanyaradzwa told the Daily News that the five young artistes were helping her to record the upcoming album.
“I am recording with them at Mono Mukundu’s studio but I don’t know yet when the album will be released. The Mushandirapamwe Trust aims to develop raw, vocal musical talent in Harare’s townships
“The singers will be groomed and mentored through artistic exchanges with leading local and international vocalists,” she told the Daily News.