Visiting Zimbabwean Mbira musician, Kurai Blessing Mubaiwa played last Suday, Oct. 4 at the Mississippi Pizza Pub with opening group, Pachi Pamwe.
Kurai Blessing Mubaiwa was born in 1977 in the village of Murewa in Zimbabwe and grew up in Mutimbanyoka, Zimbabwe. He began playing mbira at the age of 6, learning from his father, his uncle, and other village elders. He has been singing and dancing since the first moment he could talk and walk, growing up in the rich cultural environment of his father's village. He often played mbira and drums and danced in traditional ceremonies and other public gatherings. In 1994 Kurai joined Savannah Arts Group in Harare, where he learned to play marimba. He taught cultural arts in Denmark and toured West Africa and Europe with Chiwoniso Maraire and opened for Cesaria Evora. Kurai immigrated to Vancouver in 2002, where he still resides. There he began teaching at the Britannia World Music Program instructing children and youth marimba classes. He continues to instruct mbira and drumming workshops. Kurai performs solo, and plays in the Zimbabwean group Zimbamoto.
Pachi Pamwe Hailing from Portland, Oregon, Pachi Pamwe (Shona for 'together again') infuses traditional Zimbabwean mbira (thumb piano) music with their own poetry and American culture, creating a rich sound that is both soothing and energetic. Pachi Pamwe consists of Eric Miller & Matt Gordon who use mbira and acoustic guitar to create a lush bed of invigorating yet relaxing textures. Besides touring internationally with Thomas Mapfumo & the Blacks Unlimited for a few years, they have shared the stage with artists such as Oliver Mutukudzi, Chris Berry & Pangaea, John Fishman, MarchFourth Marching Band, Members of String Cheese Incident, Matemai & Simboti, Bongo Love, Boka Marimba, the Physical Hearts, Eric John Kaiser, and many other great Portland band. Pachi Pamwe enlivens our spirit with its unique Zimbabwelectrick sound.