19.01.12 Mbira Academy to Launch at Dartington: Space
Zimbabwean Music comes to Devon
The UK’s first ever Mbira Academy launches at Dartington Space (part of the Dartington Hall Trust) later this month on Friday 27 January. The all day celebration of events marks the opening of this new exciting establishment with a full programme of activities including workshops with local schools and community groups, a series of African dance, singing, and percussion classes, a tour of the Academy facilities and traditional Zimbabwean food.
Kicking off the evening’s festivities will be a Roots Music Night from 7.30 – 9.30 featuring an exciting line-up of musicians including Academy Director and Master Mbira player Chartwell Dutiro and a host of guest international artists that will become a regular monthly feature (scheduled every last Friday of the month) at Studio 20 at Dartington Space.
Academy Director and Founder, Chartwell Dutiro, is a musician, ethnomusicologist and teacher who has been playing the mbira for over forty years.
The mbira is an ancient musical instrument made with hand forged metal keys on a wooden soundboard, which has been played for centuries in ritual ceremonies in Zimbabwe. Since moving to England from Zimbabwe 15 years ago, Chartwell has been able to bring people of all backgrounds and cultures together through his music and teaching. He is a WOMAD Foundation recommended artist, performing and teaching all around the world.
Chartwell Dutiro said: “I am very excited to be officially launching the Mhararano Mbira Academy at Dartington Space. Over the last year our unique partnership with Dartington has allowed us to develop our plans for the Academy, and help bed in an exciting and vibrant programme of work that has really started to connect with the local community. We are now in a strong position to realise our plans for the next ambitious step, bringing music, song and learning together.”
David Francis, Director of Arts, Dartington said: “We are delighted that the Mbira Academy is launching at Dartington Space. We’re really looking forward to continuing our work with Chartwell, as he is a true inspiration and a fantastic teacher of this beautiful instrument."