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Peter Kuthan / AZFA
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« on: May 23 2010 »

@ The Mannenberg, Harare
Sat 5 June 2010, 9pm  /   Sun 6 June 2010, 8pm

THERE'S A 'FLAME!' blazing across southern Africa, a scintillating regional music tour featuring live - for the first time on stage together - the pioneering Afro-jazz collaboration of four of Africa's wondrous ladies of song - Mozambique's legendary 'Mingas', with Dudu Manhenga (Zimbabwe), Mphumie Twala (South Africa), and the superb saxophone of Ndhitini Mbali (South Africa).

This exciting collaboration will grace a southern African tour circuit starting on Saturday 29 May with a performance at  'Encontr ARTE Intercambio Artistico' at the Centro Cultural Franco Mocambicano in Maputo, Mozambique, followed on 30 May by a performance at the Bushfire Festival, Mbabane, Swaziland, 2 and 4 June at the famous Bassline, in Newtown, Johannesburg, and winding up on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 June at The Mannenberg in Harare.

FLAME! is a regional African arts collaboration program, created by African Synergy  (Johannesburg) in association with Pamberi Trust (Harare) and supported by South African-Norwegian Cooperation MMINO,  FLAME is named after the gender programme (Female Literary, Arts and Music Enterprise) which empowers female musicians and creates a platform for emerging female artists.  The FLAME programme is a great success in Zimbabwe, involving 120 young female artists over the last few years, about 25 of whom have gone on to fashion successful careers � locally and regionally - from their music, poetry and theatre.

The tour is being put together by the two arts organisations, which are growing an African network and circuit for the arts: the African Tour Circuit, a south-to-south affair.   In Harare, Pamberi Trust runs development projects and two popular live arts venues, The Book Cafe and The Mannenberg, which stage an astounding 18 events of all kinds most weeks, becoming a hub for the arts in the Zimbabwean capital.

Pamberi Trust's gender project FLAME (Female Literary, Music & Arts Enterprise) has built a strong network of women artists in Zimbabwe, and grown through open mic platforms, promotional events and workshops for women artists - and helped established the Association for Women in the Performing Arts in Zimbabwe with 150 members from all provinces of the country.

The four women artists are proud to be leading the way in such rich and empowering exchange and exposure in their own region.  The FLAME tour is a trailblazer which puts women artists of southern Africa in the forefront of south-to-south cooperation in arts and culture.  Zimbabwe's Dudu Manhenga - the youngest artist - said, "It's a wonderful opportunity for me to learn from women who have walked the path ahead of me, so I'm going to come out better than I've ever been from this experience.  For me when we do things together as women, there is more value because our place has always been so small, we have to claim our space!  So when we come out together with a bang, people will pay attention to what we are doing, which I hope they will."

The 5 and 6 June concerts at The Mannenberg will be truly on fire as the production touches down for the final performances of a whirlwind tour across the region. 


MINGAS (Mozambique)

Marrabenta star MINGAS is one of Mozambique's most revered musicians. Her jazz interpretations and stunning arrangements of Mozambique's dance-crazy marrabenta rhythms has thrilled audiences the world over.

Renowned for her solo work, as well as for her collaborations with Miriam Makeba and Jimmy Dludlu, Mingas celebrated her 30-year career with a mega-concert to ten thousand people in Maputo in 2007, recorded and filmed live.

Mingas lives in Maputo.  At a tender age she became lead singer with one of the best bands of the time, Hokol�kw�.  With Marrabenta Star Orquestra in 1987, Mingas recorded two famous tracks, 'Elisa Gomara Saia' and 'A Va Sati Va Lomu' receiving massive airtime that gave Mingas a huge countrywide following.

As lead singer in the Marrabenta Star Orquestra (1987-89) she toured Portugal, Cape Verde, France, England, Germany, Holland, Norway, Denmark and Sweden. In 1988, she performed in Harare with Miriam Makeba, Harry Belafonte, Hugh Masekela, Paul Simon and Manu Dibango.

Fronting for Grupo Radio Marrabenta in 1989 led to recordings in Paris and a Gala Show in Guinea Conakry being awarded the 'Grand Prix Decouvertes 90'.  In 1989 she toured Brazil, and in the decade that followed she consolidated her status as one of Mozambique's 'greats'.

>From 1995 to 1999 she was taken on by Putumayo label and toured Germany, Holland, France, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, South Africa, Brazil (performing there for Pope John Paul II), Jamaica, Canada, USA, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Swaziland, Guadeloupe, France, Namibia, Switzerland and Austria. 
Mingas has since performed continuously throughout Mozambique, Southern Africa and internationally, gaining an iconic status in her country.


DUDU MANHENGA is one of Zimbabwe's most celebrated young jazz singer/songwriters.  A household name in Zimbabwe, she is rapidly gaining regional and international acclaim with her incredible vocal range and stage charisma.  Her style is influenced by the great African jazz singers, delivered with poise and dignity through a fusion of genres: jazz, afro-beat, township, Latin, and Zimbabwe's traditional styles.

Performing professionally from the age of 16, Dudu emerged on the music scene after stints as backing vocalist for Oliver Mtukudzi, Ernie Smith, Ringo Madlingosi, Steve Dyer and Louis Mhlanga.  In 2001 she formed 'Color Blu' with acclaimed drummer Blessing Muparutsa, and they recorded their debut album 'Out Of The Blu' in 2003.  In 2007, Dudu released 'Jula' ('Depth'), and 'Towards Alignment' in 2009, which aptly describes her musical journey - beautiful melodies, energetic stage work and sizzling vocals.

Dudu is actively involved in initiatives to protect artists against piracy, help empower women artists and develop the arts industry in Zimbabwe.  In 2010 Dudu Manhenga was elected to head the newly established 150-member Association for Women in the Performing Arts in Zimbabwe, and appointed to the Board of the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe.  She is a hard working mother of four, and many more.

MPHUMIE TWALA (South Africa)

MPHUMIE (Nompumelelo) TWALA is an emerging South African star with that rarest of gifts, an extraordinary soulful voice.  After making her name on the gospel circuit, and while performing as backing vocalist for Judith Septhuma, she began to attract serious attention in her live sessions with outstanding Nigerian saxophonist Olufemi, literally blowing audiences away.  Mpumie has also worked with other artists in the industry, mainly in Gospel and Contemporary Jazz genres, and with her beautiful jazz-blues voice and style, is set to become a major star.  She's also an established actress, currently working on a play called 'Africa Today', as a singer and dancer.
NDITHINI MBALI (saxophone, South Africa)

Ndithini started playing sax at the age of 12, taught by her grandfather.  In 1998 she moved to Jo'burg and performed with the 'Jazz Maroons', later fronting for the Afro-jazz band 'Heritage'.  In 2004 she formed her own band, performing widely in and around Jo'burg with established jazz musicians Bheki Khoza, Dorothy Masuka, Abigail Kubekha and many others.  By 2007, Ndithini was emerging as South Africa's leading female horn player, hugely respected for her compositions and stunning horn arrangements and invited to perform alongside jazz greats.  Her participation in FLAME also leads the way for African women instrumentalists.

The Book Cafe & The Mannenberg, Fife Avenue Mall, Harare, Zimbabwe
T +263 4 253239, M +263 912 394 394, pamberit@gmail.com, www.zimbabwearts.org

The Bassline, 10 Henry Nxumalo Street, Newton, Johannesburg 2001, South Africa
T +27 11 838 9145, Fx 838 9149, M+27 82 736 6226, +72 723 1444
munya@iburst.co.za, africansynergiser@gmail.com, www.africansynergy.net
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