Dumisani Maraire

Dumisani Maraire

Biography

Zimbabwe's Dumisani Maraire is a master of the traditional music of the Shona people. His main instrument is the thumb piano, which is made from metal strips attached to a wooden base and/or a hollow gourd, and he also plays the marimba. Both instruments pluck out hypnotic music with mellifluous melodies and engaging rhythms. Based on ancestor worship, the spirit realm of this music is primary, and Maraire's rough-hewn vocals hoarsely call out while ancient musical patterns continue their vibrant life. After studying at university in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, he relocated to the Pacific Northwest to teach at the University of Washington, where a community devoted to the mbira has arisen among his students. Entire groups, such as Balafon Marimba Ensemble, have found their inspiration there.

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