Mbira: Millicent Chapanda
Millicent Chapanda is a proud cultural artist with a vibrant mission to bring the lived experience of women in Zimbabwe onto international world music stages. In performance, although her music goes deep into ancient Shona cultural heritage, Millicent’s work covers gender issues and the barriers affecting women in the diaspora and back in Zimbabwe, giving her a real cutting edge onstage.
Since arriving in the UK 20 years ago, Millicent has been an essential part of the lively Zimbabwean cultural diaspora; first recording and touring with the legendary Batanai Marimba and World Muzik Makers, then collaborating with Anna Mudeka and Kuda Matimba’s Harare band, before performing and touring with the late Chartwell Dutiro, who had brought many inspiring mbira performances to Dartington’s Great Hall. Millicent has performed onstage at London Barbican, Royal Festival Hall, and Shambala, to name but a few.
A Millicent Chapanda show is above all a celebration that calls on those dancing ancestral spirits to rise through the trance of mbira’s cascading sounds to the pull of the voice and the insistent pulse of the deep ngoma drum and hosho shakers.