Thomas Mapfumo & The Blacks Unlimited

$15 advance/$20/door
He is “The Lion of Zimbabwe.” The most important musical-political force in Rhodesia's (Zimbabwe) struggle for self-rule and one of the best-known artists in African music, singer-songwriter Thomas Mapfumo modified his musical style once Zimbabwe achieved independence, but due to increasing unrest in recent years his music has become as adamant as in the early years. Mapfumo’s electric African music is as infectious to dance to as its lyrics are intellectually challenging, and it continues to evolve as current homeland crises inspire his latest music. While the songs are often politically pointed, the music has a lilting, hypnotic pulse which Mapfumo and his Blacks Unlimited band created by transposing the Shona people’s griots' ancient mbira (African thumb piano) to electric guitars, bass, drums and horns in the late 1970s, then blended in blues and jazz elements to create a style called "chimurenga." It was a style promoted by the Hallelujah Chicken Run Band (whose recordings are available on a reissued CD collection), before launching his own Blacks Unlimited group. Mapfumo also brought new pride to nearly discarded traditional culture by singing in the ancient Shona language. With today's current economic and political struggles in Zimbabwe, Mapfumo's songs address issues with such lyrics as, "We are slaves in our own country." Imprisoned before Zimbabwe achieved independence in 1980, by 1989 Mapfumo was forced to live in exile because of his outspoken opposition to government corruption under President Mugabe. Mapfumo sings the songs of universal struggle for justice from throughout his career, including his 2007 CD, “The Long Walk.”

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Great artist and right venue to enjoy his music. The band played for 3 + hours without stopping. Most people were dancing. Surprisingly, the place was only crowded for an hour or so. Indeed, by the end I was tired and my feet hurt - no problem!
    I did not arrive in time to get a table, and I'm not sure exactly who was there. I did encounter some of you, and see that others attended as well.

    June 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I got there after the music started... but i didn't see anyone sitting down so iI assume everyone was on the dance floor!
    Excellent music and time!

    June 16, 2013

  • connie

    Music was fantastic last night!

    June 16, 2013

  • Maggie

    Have a migraine. You guys have a blast!

    June 15, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Is there anybody driving from Hercules, Rodeo area? Wouldn't mind carpooling.

    June 14, 2013

  • neeth

    Was wondering if anyone is driving fr the south bay for this event. If so, does anyone want to car pool?

    June 14, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I will arrive early and try to snag some seating - there isn't much available there. I'll put a meetup sign on the table.

    June 13, 2013

  • Sunny

    Movers announced they are coming today with all my stuff! Might try to come if I am not too wiped.

    June 13, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I want to go but wont have a way back home

    June 6, 2013

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