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Concert moves to the rhythm of Africa

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012 4:23 p.m. CDT
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Mathew Tembo, an award-winning performer of reggae and Afropop, will perform Oct. 12 at the Unitarian church in DeKalb.

DeKALB – Award-winning Afropop and reggae musician Mathew Tembo will perform in concert Friday, Oct. 12, at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of DeKalb. Tembo is a world-touring artist who fuses traditional music of his Zambian homeland with Ethiopian and reggae beats to create a unique and powerful sound.

Tembo is a top reggae musician in Zambia, and he is also an award-winning Afropop performer. He is currently working on his masters degree in world music performance at Northern Illinois University, where he also leads an Afropop Ensemble. This concert is a fundraiser to return to Africa for the completion of his masters’ project.

“In Africa, written musical notation barely exists. Music is preserved through people who constantly make it and perform it, and then orally hand over the musicianship to the younger generation,” Tembo said. He hopes to contribute to the effort to capture and preserve some of the traditional music of the more than 700 ethnic groups of Africa.

Tembo will perform with a small group consisting of a drummer and a bass player. He also plans to have a small horn section. It promises to be a very lively, informative and powerful evening of music. He will play a homemade Zambian instrument built of gourds and wood.

Tembo fuses Zambian tradition with reggae. The result, according to a review of his sixth album by music magazine Anthem, is an enjoyable, contemporary production with organic elements that should appeal not only to African and reggae fans but to a new audience looking for traditional roots music.

For more information, contact Dan Kenney at 815-793-0950.

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