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Country Zimbabwe Genres band roots fusion Website www.facebook.com/mokoomba Festival Sauti za Busara 2013, 2019 Recordings
Kweseka, 2009; Umvundla EP in collaboration with DJ Gregor Salto, 2011; Rising Tide, 2012; Luyando, 2017
Mokoomba hail from a town called Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, a town that is home to the mighty waterfall also known as Mosi-oa-Tunya (the smoke that thunders); one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The band's six members grew up as friends in Chinotimba township where they began as teenagers playing music after school. Without regular access to equipment, they would play small local gigs for a local band leader, the late Alfred Mjimba, and this afforded the young musicians much needed experience. Living in a town that borders Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia and Botswana and a haven for tourists from all over the world gave Mokoomba's music an international outlook from the beginning and a unique perspective that is different from the mainstream styles of Zimbabwean music.
Their main sources of inspiration are the diverse local music styles, rhythms and stories rooted in different but related local traditions and languages mainly Luvale, Tonga and Nyanja (also to a lesser extent Ndebele and Shona) while also embracing everything from Soukous to Ska, Funk to Afro-Latin beats to create a distinct, danceable Afrosound.
Mokoomba's first major break came in 2008 when they won the Music Crossroads Inter-Regional Festival competition in Malawi. As a prize, they recorded their first demo album titled Kweseka (Drifting Ahead) and made their first European tours in 2009 and 2010. In 2011, with growing international interest, Mokoomba released their first professional album titled Rising Tide produced by Manou Gallo for the Belgian label ZigZag World. The album received rave reviews from music pundits including Songlines Magazine, fRoots Magazine, Afropop Worldwide, NPR and The Guardian which listed "Rising Tide" in its top 5 world albums of 2012. The runaway success of Rising Tide would propel Mokoomba to tour over 50 countries worldwide from 2012 to 2018, solidifying their standing at home and abroad.
Performance highlights include at Denmark's Roskilde Festival, WOMAD festivals in UK, Australia and New Zealand, WOMEX in Thessaloniki, Montreal Jazz Festival in Canada, Sziget Festival in Hungary, Paleo Festival in Switzerland, Belgium's Pole Pole Festival, Morocco's Gnawa festival, Colors of Ostrava in Czech Republic, Voice of Nomads in Russia, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in USA, Gwanju World Music Festival in South Korea, Sauti za Busara in Zanzibar, Africa Oye in Liverpool and appearing on the BBC 2 programme "Later... with Jools Holland."
In 2017, Mokoomba released their latest album Luyando, also widely acclaimed by music lovers and pundits. In 2018, Mokoomba successfully showcased at SXSW, were inducted into the Afropop Worldwide Hall of Fame and nominated for the Songlines Music Awards Best Group category. The band continues to tour widely, crossing borders and demonstrating the joyful, transcendent power of their sound and vision.With thanks to NGOMA NEHOSHO