Thomas Mapfumo and Blacks Unlimited at Triple Door Monday

Earshot Jazz Festival 2011 presented The “Lion of Zimbabwe,” Thomas Mapfumo, and his  music that he calls “influenced by the people who are struggling at home. Their voices have been silenced. Someone has got to talk.” His chimurenga – music of struggle – has merged Shona traditions and the West.

Check out the Earshot Jazz Festival Schedule to see what’s next in the 2011 Festival lineup.

“Our music speaks for the people. We are influenced by the people who are struggling at home. Their voices have been silenced. Someone has got to talk,” Thomas Mapfumo explains. Widely revered in his homeland as the “Lion of Zimbabwe,” Mapfumo brings the protest music known as chimurenga (which means “revolutionary struggle” in Shona) – which he invented and made popular – to Seattle. His compositions mix traditional Shona mbira (thumb piano) music with Western rock and other modern genres. Even as they decry social injustice, political oppression, the AIDS crisis and domestic violence, Mapfumo’s uplifting, upbeat and danceable songs celebrate the human spirit and speak to the universal need for freedom.
Afropop Worldwide proclaimed that “since his first single in 1974, Mapfumo has shown an unfailing ear for a hook, for reaching his people. His voice, once described as a ‘bass whisper,’ endures, its defiant moral authority transferred gracefully now from a brash youthfulness to the intonations of a serene elder.” Continue reading Earshot Jazz Festival program guide

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