Live in Concert: The Zonke Family

Doors open 20oo // Showtime 21oo


The mbira music of Zimbabwe is considered one of the most fascinating musical traditions of Africa. Its intricately interwoven, “caleidophone” textures keep drawing a new generation of listeners worldwide under their spell. Yet it is surprisingly little known in Germany and Europe, even more so the great diversity of instrument types and local repertoires.

The matepe of the borderlands to Mozambique is among the most complex types of mbira. Within ensembles of two, three, or more players, each musician is juggling up to four independent melodic lines at tremendous speed. Matepe music’s rhythm and harmony are extraordinarily many-faceted and ambiguous, its sound of enormous spectral complexity. Consequently utilizing psychoacoustic phenomena, instruments and players create musicalpuzzle images, which may appear completely different on repeated listening.



The matepe players of the Zonke/Tsonga family, literally marginalized in the border town of Nyamapanda, are among the few remaining master musicians of this unique musical tradition. Their music is largely unknown even in the urban centres of the country and will be performed for the first time on European stages in spring 2019.



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