Madzimai means "women," and this group is a joining of 3 renowned women in the
field of Zimbabwean dance and music. While they are all leaders of their own
performing groups and projects, they joined forces for the first time for
People Like Me 2003!
Julia Tsitsi Chigamba is a dancer, singer and instrumentalist from Zimbabwe
who was raised in the rich cultural traditions of Shona music and dance.
Daughter of highly respected mbira player, Sekuru Tute Chigamba, she was
a longtime member of Mhembero, the Chigamba family dance and mbira ensemble.
Julia taught traditional music and dance in Harare, Zimbabwe for five years.
She now performs and teaches Shona music and dance in the United States and
Canada to diverse populations and a wide spectrum of age groups.
Erica Azim fell in love with Shona mbira music when she first heard it at the
age of 16. In 1974, Erica became one of the first Americans to study mbira
in Zimbabwe, and her teachers have included many of Zimbabwe's top mbira
masters, past and present, such as Forward Kwenda, Cosmas Magaya, Mondrek
Muchena, Ephat Mujuru, Newton Gwara, Irene Chigamba, Tute Chigamba, Chris
Mhlanga, Luken Pasipamire, Fradreck Mujuru and Ambuya BeaulerDyoko. Erica
has recorded two solo CDs, including "Mbira: Healing Music of Zimbabwe" on
the Relaxation Co. label. She currently teaches regional mbira workshop groups
throughout the U.S. and internationally attended mbira camps at her home
in Berkeley, California. Erica also directs the non-profit organization MBIRA
(see www.mbira.org), which makes field recordings available to mbira enthusiasts
around the world and provides financial support to Zimbabwean mbira players
and instrument makers.
Kelly Takunda Orphan is a dancer, vocalist, percussionist, and songwriter who
has performed both locally and abroad with various African/World Music groups,
such as Babatunde Olatunji and African Rain, Mhembero, and the University
of Zimbabwe Choir. After her year abroad studying at the University of Zimbabwe
(1994), Kelly served as Co-Director of San Jose State University's World
Music Choir (1995-99). She is a former member of Keith Terry & Crosspulse
and was the creative director of Mutama, a female vocal/percussion ensemble(1998-2001).
Currently, she is the music director at First Church Oakland and has two CD's available.
First appeared in People Like Me 2003