One Country - 2021

"One Country" Collaboration Mozambique & Zimbabwe

For this edition of the One Country project, Nzango Artist Residency director Matchume Zango has invited a group of Mozambican and Zimbabwean musicians to take part in a residency exchange. The aim of the project is for the musicians to engage with the traditional musical styles of Chopi, Sungura and Chimurenga as a source of inspiration to which to merge modern and contemporary styles such as elements of disco club, fusion and jazz and create new repertories. The participating musicians include Bela Zango, Lívio Ezequias Monjane, Djibra Mussa, Dércio Muhamago, Matchume Zango and Nelton Harris Martins de Miranda from Mozambique and Frank Mavhimira from Zimbabwe. During the residency, the Mozambican artists will make their recordings at Nzango Artist Residency, while Frank Mavhimira will make his recordings in a private studio in South Africa.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year the One Country project will take place in a virtual format. In previous years an important part of the project was live performances where the public could experience the outcome of the artistic residency and learn about the dialogue between Mozambican and Zimbabwean music traditions. This year the project format will include a series of weekly videos that will take audiences ‘backstage’ to learn about all the production stages of the artist residency and recording process, providing an immersive view of the artists’ creative process and how songs are made. The project will culminate in a final video summarising the entire process. The videos will be published and circulated on the Nzango Artist Residency social media channels.

BIOGRAPHIES

Matchume Zango has been dedicated to traditional Mozambican music and dance since the age of six. He is considered one of the new masters of timbila. Over the past 20 years, Matchume has toured the world as a musician and composer of traditional, experimental and fusion music. As ambassador of Mozambican music and culture, he has acted, taught and carried out artistic and cultural projects all around the world. He has completed dozens of successful collaborations with international artists in the genres of musical performance, theatre, dance and cinema. In 2016, he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Musical Performance from the University of Cape Town, South Africa (UCT). Currently, Matchume Zango is pursuing a master’s degree in Music, with specialization in performance and dissertation in musical technology in UCT.

Frank Mavhimira is a young Zimbabwean guitarist who grew up in a town called Chitungwiza just out of Harare. He started to play professionally in 2008 under a Jazz songbird called Rute Mbangwa and has since worked with different artists as a session guitarist Prudence Katomene, Hope Masike, Alexio Kawara, etc. He has also played at different festivals and events in Denmark, Algeria, Uganda, Turkey and also the better part of Southern Africa. In 2015 he went on a 6-month tour of Turkey with an international acclaimed Cirus group called Mother Africa. Currently he is working with a multi-award winning South African gospel group called Joyous Celebration.

Nelton Harris Martins de Miranda is a self-taught and multi-instrumentalist, producer and musical arranger from Mozambique who plays several musical styles. Over his three decade career, Nelton has participated in many concerts and festivals of different levels and scope and collaborated with local and international artists such as: Stewart Sukuma, Mingas, Tony Django, Irinah Cumbe, Deodato Siquir, Jomalu, Carlos Gove, Lenna Bahule, Kaliza, Xcrava, Lizha James, Arthur Maia, Roberto Isaias among others. He had the opportunity to experience, produce and play in Mozambique and Africa, Europe and America.

Bela Zango  was born in Maputo to an artistic family with musician parents. She started dancing at the age of 12 in the group Ngalanga of Unit 7. Later she was part of the National Company of Song and Dance and later came to join the dance group Amor da Noite where she participated in several national and international performances. Bela was invited to various musical formations as a chorister and toured in Portugal and France.

Lívio Ezequias Monjane is a Mozambican keyboard player, conductor, arranger and producer. He has participation in various concerts and festivals and has had the opportunity to collaborate and share the stage in Mozambique and Africa with many local and international artists such as Alfa Thulana, Mr Bow, Jimmy Dludlu, António Marcos, Albino Mbié, Sandra St. Victor, Nomapostile, Johnny Ramos, Matias Damásio, among others.

Djibra Mussa is a multi-faceted Mozambican drummer who began his career at Continuadores in Maputo. He has played in several countries such as Portugal, Macau, Sweden, Germany, Angola, South Korea, Belgium, Norway, Spain, Mayote Islands, Reunion Islands and others accompanying artists such as Anselmo Ralph, Pearl, Coreon Du, Arry, C4Pedro, Sandra Lamb and Rosan Amsten among others.
He is a member of Project Africa and super band Timbila Muzimba. As a songwriter, he won the 2010 FUNDAC Award in the “Male Revelation” category.

Dércio Muhamago is a Mozambican producer and recording and mixing engineer. Divergent by nature, he puts his own unique spin on whatever he touches. He has been  producing electronic music since 2010 and played a substantial role in popularizing bass house in Mozambique. Dércio played a role conceiving a series of African house music events in Europe called Hekaya.Zurich. Currently, he is interested in researching African music and more specifically Mozambican national rhythms and sounds. Re-interpreting and transforming them, bringing a fresh perspective and flavour to timeless cultural wealth.

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