06/24 | Mathew Tembo and the Afro Routes at Global Dance Party


Mathew Tembo is an award-winning Afro-Pop musician hailing from Zambia in Southern Africa. He is an important ambassador of Zambian music culture both at home and abroad.

Originally a reggae singer only, he began playing Afro-Pop when he had an eye-opening experience while touring Europe in 2004. When he was doing a presentation about the music he played then at the Rhythmic Conservatory in Copenhagen, Denmark, one of the professors from the conservatory asked him why he played reggae and not African music when he was from Africa. From that experience, a whole new world of musical possibilities came to life for him. On return home that same year, he began a self-taught exploration of traditional Zambian/African instruments such as the silimba (a home made marimba), which he made himself, kalimba (mbira/thumb piano), and kalumbu (a one-stringed instrument). Incorporating the use of these instruments into his original compositions, Mathew sings mostly in Chinsenga (language of Nsenga people) and Chichewa (music of the Chewa people) and weaves syncopation, repetition, polyrhythm and call-and-response into his music creating an enjoyable yet powerful style he calls Chachacha (redemption songs).

8.30pm Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago IL 60625 • 773.728.6000

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