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I Love Africa

Saturday, February 9, 2019

I Love Africa

With Piwai in concert

Saturday, February 9, 2019
11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Copley Plaza at The Old Globe

Part of the Globe’s free AXIS performing art series, I Love Africa will feature Zimbabwe-born musician and vocalist Piwai in concert. She will also teach an African-dance workshop, followed by a drumming workshop with Nana Obrafo Yaw Asiedu. This event is for the whole family! Along with the artistic activities, there will be games, face painting, and the opportunity to create your own traditional African mask craft with the support of a Globe Teaching Artist.

UPDATE: Due to the forecast of rain, this even will take place in the Globe's Hattox Hall, upstairs from our plaza. The event is still happening, and it's still free and fun for the whole family!

11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.: Piwai music performance
11:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon: Piwai African-dance workshop
12:10 p.m. – 12:40 p.m.: Drumming workshop
12:45 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.: Piwai music performance

Fondly known as the girl with the African thumb piano (mbira), Piwai wows audiences across the globe with her soulful voice and genre-fusing melodies. Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Piwai’s love of music is influenced by her multicultural Southern African and gospel exposure in early childhood.

Nana Obrafo Yaw Asiedu is the Founder and Director of the Ile Ayan Cultural Institution of Higher Learning. Drums balance out the right and left brains and stimulate endorphins, which facilitate learning. He currently gives ongoing African drumming and music instruction for all ages (toddlers to adults) in San Diego, where he has taught for the last 15 years. He has instructed 10,000 fifth-grade students from 2004 to 2010 as part of the San Diego City Schools’s Balboa Park Integration Program.

Julia Tsitsi Chigamba, founder and director of the Chinyakare Ensemble, grew up in the rich cultural traditions of Shona music and dance. She is the daughter of the highly respected gwenyambira Sekuru Chigamba and was a longtime member of Mhembero, the Chigamba family dance and mbira ensemble, as well as the National Dance Company of Zimbabwe. She came to the U.S. in 1999. Two years later, in Oakland, California, she established the organization Tawanda muChinyakare and the music and dance company Chinyakare to share the beauty and wisdom of her culture. Ms. Chigamba continues to teach dance, music, and culture in Oakland schools and in the community.

Kanukai Chigamba started dancing at a young age with her family in Harare, Zimbabwe. She learned to dance at biras, all-night ceremonies, where she would watch older dancers and learn their moves. Soon she started dancing with her aunt’s group, the Mhembero Dance Troupe, performing traditional Zimbabwean dance at weddings and local clubs until 2010, when she moved to Oakland, California. There she continued dancing with her family in the Chinyakare Ensemble, performing traditional Zimbabwean dance around the country. She has performed at events such as the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival, Zimfest, Monterey Bay Reggaefest, and the Africa Day Celebration in Washington DC. Ms. Chigamba met some of her closest friends through these dance events, and she began to collaborate with other dancers to learn other styles such as Congolese, West African, Pantsula, and Kwaito. She believes dance is a wonderful way to learn to communicate, share cultures, and make new friends, and she wants to share what she has learned with others.

Ronnie Daliyo is an inspiring and powerful traditional Zimbabwean dancer and musician. He was a principal dancer and musician with Mhembero Dance Troupe in Zimbabwe for 10 years. He has performed and taught around the world, including in Zimbabwe, China, Canada, and the United States. Mr. Daliyo first came to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2005 and returned in 2007 as an artist-in-residence with the Chinyakare Ensemble. He has toured the U.S. and has been a workshop instructor in Oakland, at the Zimbabwean Music Festival, at the Mosaic Men’s Retreat in Mendocino, and in many other schools and studios across the country. He performed with the San Francisco World Music Festival in their November 2014 installation of The War Project. Mr. Daliyo currently resides in Oakland, California, where he teaches marimba classes and continues to perform with the Chinyakare Ensemble as a dancer and musician.

Allan Phillips is a multi-instrumentalist, Venezuelan born, of African descent. He has the ability to incorporate traditional music from all around the world into the classical as well as the contemporary realms. He has won recognition for acclaimed album productions, recording sessions, and performances with Donna Summer, Kenny Loggins, Al Jarreau (U.S.), Sergio Mendes (Brazil), Zap Mama (Europe/Africa), Eva Ayllon (Peru), Thomas Mapfumo (Zimbabwe), Habib Koité (Mali), Vusi Mahlasela (South Africa), and Regino Gimenez (Cuba).

Photo: Courtesy of Piwai.