Julia Chigamba and Chinyakare (Zimbabwean ngoma)
November 19, 2015
11:00 AM - 12:20 PM
Spurrier Dance Studio, UR River Campus
Throughout much of Southern Africa, the word “ngoma” means drum; by extension, it can also refer to the general concept of music itself. Yet ngoma also denotes specific musical styles that combine drumming, dance, and song. With its long history of ritual, political, and social significance, ngoma continues to represent a dynamic and evolving cultural practice, placing it at the center of both colonial and postcolonial contests over musical and social meaning.
The Chinyakare Ensemble is led by Julia Tsitsi Chigamba. Daughter of the highly respected mbira player Sekuru Chigamba, she was a longtime member of Mhembero, the Chigamba family music and dance ensemble, in Zimbabwe. Julia came to the United States in 1999. Two years later, in Oakland, California, she established the music and dance company Chinyakare to share the richness of Zimbabwean expressive culture in the United States. In addition to directing Chinyakare, Julia teaches dance, music and culture in the Oakland schools and in the community.
Under Julia’s direction, the Chinyakare Ensemble boasts a collection of diverse and experienced musicians and dancers from both Africa and the United States. True to its name, "deep tradition," the ensemble represents traditional music and dance from Shona, Ndebele, and other tribal groups from around Zimbabwe.