Please join us for this very special event! Our dear friend and master musician, Erica Azim, will be playing Mbira, the beautiful and mesmerizing Shona music of Zimbabwe, as a benefit for Zimbabwean musicians who earned less than $100 for the whole year! Sliding scale $10-$100 Please RSVP here.
Erica is a Californian who fell in love with Shona mbira music when she first heard it at the age of 16. After studying Shona music with Dumisani Maraire at the University of Washington for two years, she decided she had to learn to play the ancient Shona mbira played in ceremonies.
In 1974, Erica became one of the first non-Zimbabweans to study the mbira in Zimbabwe with traditional masters of the instrument. At that time, Zimbabwe was racist Rhodesia in the throes of a liberation war. Touched by the arrival of a young white woman who respected ancient Shona tradition — a stark contrast with the white government that reviled it — musicians extended a warm welcome.
MBIRA is a non-profit organization that celebrates and helps to sustain the ancient musical traditions of Zimbabwe. MBIRA supports Zimbabwean musicians and instrument makers, and their families, through worldwide Zimbabwean music education, recordings, and performances. In a country with around 90% unemployment, this provides critical support in the daily struggle for survival. MBIRA has also created the largest archive of Shona mbira music in the world, which is a permanent resource for generations to come.