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Chiwoniso; Zimbabwe’s Pure Voice Of Hardship And Hope, September 18, 2008, California

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WHO: Chiwoniso (Zimbabwe) w/ Valu David (Canada)
WHAT: A Small World Music Fall Festival presentation in association with Batuki Music
WHERE: @ Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas Street West, lulalounge.ca
WHEN: Thursday, September 18 @ 9 pm
TICKETS: $15 advance, $20 door @ smallworldmusic.com & Soundscapes, 572 College St.
416-588-0307 for dinner reservations & guaranteed seating
WEBSITES: chiwoniso.com / valudavid.com  

Small World Music launches the seventh annual Fall Festival with the pure, raw and powerful voice of Zimbabwean singer CHIWONISO. For more information, please visit www.smallworldmusic.com.

About Chiwoniso Maraire:
Born in Olympia, Washington in 1976, Chiwoniso Maraire came by her incredible music abilities honestly. Her father, an African ethnomusicologist, taught marimba and mbira in America between 1972 and 1990, and was a renowned stage performer along with her mother. Musical instruments were a core element of her childhood and by the age of four she was already playing mbira. “Tichazomuona”, my first recording with my parents, was released when I was nine” remembers Chiwoniso. In 1990 the family relocated to Zimbabwe where Chiwoniso honed her skills as a musician, singer and composer.

From her early beginnings in beat-box and freestyle rap to her current status, drawing comparisons to “the infectious lilt of Zimbabwe’s great singer, Oliver Mtukudzi” by the BBC’s Charles Gillet, (who just named her latest CD Rebel Woman record of the month), Chiwoniso melds conventional and modern singing seamlessly in English and African languages, and uses contemporary and traditional African instruments to convey her messages of hardship and hope. She learned how to play the mbira despite the fact that traditionally, women in Zimbabwe were not permitted to play it. The mbira, she says, “Is like a large xylophone. It is everywhere in Africa under different names: sanza, kalimba, etc. For us in Zimbabwe it is the name for many string instruments. There are many kinds of mbiras. The one that I play is called the knuwga-knuwga, which means brilliance-brilliance.” Her joyous passion and powerful music can similarly be described as sheer brilliance.

About Valu David:
At the age of twelve Valu David began his musical career singing at youth festivals and church choirs in his home of Angola, Africa. After migrating to Canada, he studied music at Toronto’s Seneca College to become a sound engineer. Today the singer- songwriter, composer, and producer has brought his combination of mainstream jazz, soul / R&B and African beats from Angola to Toronto. He sings in English, Portuguese, Spanish, French and in some Angolan dialects such as Kimbundo, Humbundo, and Kikongo. Heartfelt lyrics and a uniquely warm voice give his music a distinctive, healing vibe.

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Written by Staff Writer