Presenter/Promoter: Small World Music Society
Mathew Tembo is an award-winning Afro-Pop musician of the highest caliber hailing from Zambia in Southern Africa, combining traditional Zambian music with modern music and reggae.
Self-taught in his exploration of traditional African instruments such as silimba (a homemade marimba), kalimba (mbira/thumb piano), and kalumbu (a one-stringed instrument), Mathew incorporates these into original compositions. He sings mostly in Chinsenga (the language of the Nsenga people) and Chichewa (the music of the Chewa people), weaving in syncopation, repetition, polyrhythm and call-and-response.
Tembo has toured and recorded all over the world, producing hits including “Nelar” and “Kumalya Ndimu,” both from his second album “Save My Soul,” in the Netherlands in 2001. He was awarded best Afro-fusion for the song “Nandunge” from the album, "Anthem," his first album to feature Zambian traditional instruments, at the 2008 Born and Bred Awards in Zambia. He has headlined at festivals such as Millpond 2014 in Bishop, CA, 2014 Umoja Festival in Pittsburgh, PA and the Accacia Festival in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in February 2015.
Currently located in Pittsuburgh, where he is a PhD candidate at the University of Pittsburgh, Mathew is an important ambassador of Zambian music having shared stages with the legendary Oliver Mtukuzi of Zimbabwe, Mulatu Astatke and Mohammed Ahmed both of Ethiopia, 3MA, Michael Rose, Steven Marley, Pato Banton, the Skatalites, Tosh 1, Fyah Wyah, Third World and Dr Kenneth Kaunda, the first president of Zambia, and more.
This performance features Tich Maredza on guitar; Gordin Mapika on drum kit; and Tichaona Gombiro on bass guitar.