African Music Superstar to Play Maui

January 21, 2014, 3:07 PM HST · Updated January 21, 10:20 PM
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By Maui Now Staff

Oliver Mzutukudi. Courtesy image.

Oliver Mtukudzi. Courtesy image.

Oliver Mtukudzi – known as “Tuku” – is considered the pride of Zimbabwe.

Called “one of the most powerful creative forces to emerge on the Afro-pop scene in the last three decades,” the musician performs with his band The Black Spirits at the MACC this Saturday, Jan. 25.

Tuku is known for his deep and husky voice and a “heart-rendering (sic) music against hatred and violence.”

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According to Wikipedia, Mtukudzi joined the band Wagon Wheels and began performing in 1977. Their single Dzandimomotera went gold and Tuku’s first album – also a major success – followed.

Now 61 albums (!) later, the MACC reports that in the summer of 2013, “Mtukudzi was inducted into the Afro-Pop Hall of Fame in the United States, an honor bestowed on contemporary African artists who not only excel artistically but who also play a large role in connecting American audiences to Africa and African culture.”

A member of Zimbabwe’s Kore Kore tribe, Tuku sings in the country’s dominant Shona language as well as Ndebele and English.

Mtukudzi is known for a distinctive style known to world music fans as “Tuku Music.” His particular fusion incorporates elements of different musical traditions, such as South Africa mbaqanga, the energetic Zimbabwean pop style called jit, and the traditional kateke drumming of his clan.

That stated, the MACC notes that the Castle Theater will be set up with a dance floor for Tuku’s concert to accommodate those in the audience whose legs are unable to resist the African rhythms.

The show starts at 7:30 p.m., but there will be entertainment from the band Mabanzi in the courtyard at 6 p.m. as well as desserts and beverages available before and afterward.

Tickets to see Oliver Mtukudzi and The Black Spirits are $35 advance and $45 the day of the show or half that for those 12 and younger.

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