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News and information from Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Zimbabwean musician to perform at Pittsburg State

Musekiwa Chingodza, a well-known Zimbabwean mbira and marimba player and teacher, will perform a free concert at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 17, in McCray Recital Hall at Pittsburg State University.

Chingodza was born into a family of mbira players in Mwangara Village, Zimbabwe, in 1970. He began playing the mbira, the classical instrument of Zimbabwe, at the age of five. Since then, he has gained both national and international recognition for his performances.

“Our music is both medicine and food, as mbira has the power to heal and to provide for people,” Chingodza said. “Mbira pleases both the living and the dead.”

The mbira consists of approximately 20-24 flattened metal prongs that are fastened at one end to a wooden resonator body. The mbira sits in a gourd, which acts as it's resonator. The free ends of the metal prongs are plucked with the thumb of the left hand and the thumb and index finger of the right hand. The most important feature of mbira music is its chiming, cyclical nature, with each new repetition varying slightly from the last.

Chingodza is teaches mbira at Prince Edward School in Harare. In addition to his skills as a musician, Chingodza is also an accomplished drummer, singer and dancer. For more information, call the PSU Department of Music at 620-235-4466.

---Pitt State---