The party starts early every Friday night this summer with Lula's Afterwork Global Party series featuring music from Cuba, Brazil, New Orleans and Zimbabwe. One of the groups that will be featured in this new series is the African music quartet led by JUNO award-winning guitarist Tich Maredza.
Wanting to learn more about the traditions and genres that inform and influence his composiitons, we asked Tich Maredza to tell us more about the history and direction of his music:
Growing up in the city I listened to a lot of guitar-influenced music from various parts of Africa and music from the western world as well but was also brought up in an environment where a lot of traditional music was played at traditional ceremonies and family gatherings especially from my mother’s side of the family where all my uncles where musicians.
I was exposed to traditional styles such as mhande, dinhe and jiti whenever I visited my maternal grandmother’s rural home and mbakumba and muchongoyo when I went to my father’s rural home. I also started playing other traditional instruments such as marimba, hosho (shakers) and ngoma (hand drums) at a very young age. Later I also learnt to play mbira a traditional instrument which has been part of my heritage for hundreds of years and is an integral part of my culture.
These experiences influence the way I compose, arrange and play my music today as I use elements from all of them to come up with a unique fusion of contemporary and traditional rhythms which defines my music.
Bandmate Larry Lewis added that sungura music, one of the predominant forms in contemporary Zimbabwe, has also had a big impact on Tich's music. Leonard Dembo, perhaps the most widely recognized composer/guitarist in this style, lived near Tich in Harare. Tich admired Dembo's work and followed his career and Gordin Mapika, the drumner for Tich's current quartet, knew Leonard! Tich and Gordin introduced me to Leonard's recordings and his music has been a big influence on my own playing.
Tich Maredza performs at Lula Lounge on August 3 at 7:30 pm. Admission is free before 8pm. For more information, visit the calendar listing at lula.ca.