Stella Chiweshe + Amira Kheir

Stella AMira jazzcafe

We are honoured to welcome Stella Chiweshe, the Mbira Queen of Zimbabwe, to our stage this summer.

Stella is the first female artist who gained recognition in a music tradition that's been dominated by men: in Mbira music, known as the backbone of Zimbabwean music.

For part of her 35 year career, Stella had to keep her talent secret, as the Rhodesian colonial government of the time had declared the whole country as a Christian land and traditional instruments and songs were banned; playing Mbira was punished with prison.

Before independence she released more than 20 singles of Mbira music, of which her first single 'Kasahwa' went gold in 1975. She is nicknamed "Ambuya Chinyakare" (Grandmother of Traditional Music), and continues to set an unwavering example for the rest of the women musicians in Zimbabwe as the country's cultural ambassador.

Her solo work has established herself as one of the most original artists in the contemporary African scene using popular music to show the deepness and power of her traditional spiritual music at home and abroad.

Described by BBC World News as the ‘diva of the Sudanese desert’, Sudanese-Italian singer Amira Kheir will be opening the show following the release of her critically lauded album 'Mystic Dance' last year.

Content Related To These Artists

London Gig Guide (July 2019)

At times, we are the first to lose track of how many exciting music events happen in London each month, so we have decided to offer you some sort of “public musical service”, meant for all the locals and passers-by, with the aim of suggesting where to listen to some…

Artists: Afrikan Boy , Afriquoi , Amadou & Mariam , Amira Kheir , Amy True , Blue Lab Beats , Bumi Thomas , Carthnage , Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Orchestra , Dj Jigüe , Elpeche , Emicida , Ezra Collective , Fatima , Femi And The Inrhythms , Gianni Denitto , Imperio Bamba , Kamaal Williams , Koroleko Moussa Dembele , La-33 , Lua Preta , Marcelo D2 , Mayra Andrade , Merca Bae , Nané , Naphta , Neneh Cherry , Onra , Renegade Brass Band , Sons Of Kemet , Stella Chiweshe , Tássia Reis , The Blind Boy of Alabam , The Bongo Hop , Xylouris White , Zara Mcfarlane

Event Review: Amira Kheir @ The Junction (Cambridge; Saturday 16th February 2019)

When Amira Kheir’s very first song at The Junction on Saturday night was greeted with joyous ululating from a refreshingly diverse crowd, the tone was set for a special gig. `Save those for later’ she promised, leading her band into the shimmering ‘Amwaj’ (Waves) from her latest album Mystic Dance….

Artists: Amira Kheir

Album Review: Amira Kheir – Mystic Dance [Sterns Music; 12th October 2018]

Amira Kheir is no stranger to making critically acclaimed albums, this latest instalment being her third full-length release for Sterns Music after View From Somewhere (2011), and Alsahraa (2014). Amira Kheir has a beautiful sound that smoothly blends the nostalgic tones of East Africa: North Sudan/Southern Egypt Nubian musical traditions,…

Artists: Amira Kheir

Album Review: Stella Chiweshe – Kasahwa: Early Singles [Glitterbeat Records; 14th September 2018]

Stella Chiweshe does not command the same level of respect as Thomas Mapfumo to the world outside of Zimbabwe. The outspoken artist, however, is still a legend in her home country. Kasahwa: Early Singles is her first release in over a decade and contains 8 tracks, made between 1974 and…

Artists: Stella Chiweshe


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