26 Gibbs St, Rochester, NY 14604

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Jennifer Kyker and Glenn West, co-directors

Theorist Martin Scherzinger started Eastman’s Mbira Ensemble in 2004. Played by Shona-speaking communities in Zimbabwe, the mbira is an instrument with 22 to 28 metal keys (lamellae) fixed to a wooden soundboard, which is then placed in a gourd resonator, used to amplify its resonance. Rattling pieces of metal, bottle caps or shells are attached to the instrument, which in turn produce buzzing sounds when the keys are plucked. The interaction of two or more players, singers, hosho (gourd rattles), and sometimes drummers and rhythmic hand clapping creates a complex musical fabric that requires a shift in musical perspective of the listener and performer. Learn more...

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