Novembr, 2017

In The Key Of Marimba

The marimba, or xylophone, is widely used in the music of west, central and southern Africa. Marimbas trace their ancestry to traditional African instruments from Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia. In Mozambique, the tradition of playing timbila (part of the marimba family) evolved in the Zavala district of Inhambane and is said to date back over 500 years. Although marimba playing did not reach South Africa and Zimbabwe until the 1960s, it has quickly become an important part of daily life in performance, school and church settings.

In the Key of Marimba will bring together three masters of the marimba tradition: Matchume Zango from Mozambique, Michael Sibanda from Zimbabwe and Keketso Mahlo Bolofo from South Africa. The purpose of In The Key of Marimba is to bring together these three artists to achieve the following objectives:

-to preserve and advance traditional marimba music of Southern Africa as cultural patrimony of the region
-to create opportunities for exchange, professional development and artistic creation and performance for the three participating artists
-to produce at least two public events to share the outcomes of the residency with a larger audience.

In the Key of Marimba will include a ten-day artist residency for the participating artists at the home studio of Matchume Zango in Maputo. During the residency, the artists will create and rehearse a public performance that will happen at the French Mozambican Cultural Center (Maputo). Midway through the residency period, the artists will also present a more informal lecture demonstration at the Fernando Leite Couto Foundation (Maputo). Studio recordings, videography and photography will serve as documentation of the residency for archival purposes.

Matchume Zango has received letters of support for the public events described above from both the French Mozambican Cultural Center and the Fernando Couto Foundation (please see attached). For both events, the institutions will support all event production costs and the French Mozambican Cultural Center will also share a portion of the event proceeds with the artists as detailed on the budget.

In the Key of Marimba is directly related to the aims of Ant Funding because it involves collaboration between three master artists from three different Southern African countries included under the Ant umbrella. At its core, the residency will promote the sharing of the collective knowledge and expertise of the three participating artists. The results of the residency will be shared with audiences in Maputo. Due to modest project funding, additional performances in parts of the Southern Africa region will not be possible at this time but will certainly be scheduled if there is further interest in the project amongst presenters and donors.

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