Oliver Mtukudzi & the Black SpiritsYoshi's Jazz Club San FranciscoJuly 21, 2013Where we come from," the guitarist Oliver Mtukudzi tells the audience at Yoshi's in San Francisco, music is like food. You can have it for breakfast, lunch and supper. Where we come from, you don't have to sing a song when you have nothing to say." He might well have added Where we come from, music is a good time groove, but it also has deep cultural roots."Mtukudzi hails from Zimbabwe, the African nation which was in the midst of controversial elections ...read more
For better or worse, everyone leaves a mark on the world. That's the underlying theme of Oliver Mtukudzi's Tsimba Itsoka, which means No foot, no footprint. Though only his second release since joining the Heads Up family in 2005, it's far from being a new thing for the Zimbabwe native. Nicknamed Tuku by his fans, Mtukudzi has been a force for political and social change through music for more than thirty years. His early career included some solo work, as well as being part of the group Wagon Wheels and, later, Black Spirits. Tuku has also branched ...read more
It's been thirty years since Oliver Tuku Mtukudzi released his debut single, and in that time the Zimbabwean superstar has managed to cement a very distinctive sound. Together with his Black Spirits band, Tuku has developed a fusion of traditional Shona music with other southern African idioms, colored by faint blues and country overtones, that somehow always seems uplifting, no matter how serious a message it may embody. Open ears around the world have caught on to his accessible sound, making him a global icon of Zimbabwean culture rivaled only by his fellow countryman (now expatriate), Thomas Mapfumo. ...read more
The Heads Up Africa series has featured such artists as Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo, there's nothing not to like about this music emerging from Southern Africa. This hit parade continues with Zimbabwean guitarist/vocalist Oliver Mtukudzi's Nhava. The album ("carrying bag in Shona) is a collection of advice, encouragement, and wisdom for travelers on a journey of life as they make their way through an often perilous world. Every song on the album has something to teach about life, something to remind you and encourage you about what is important in life, Mtukudzi says.read more
He made the cover of Time magazine in March of 2003, and he's attracted a lot of listeners outside the following in his home country, but it's an unfortunate fact that most people haven't ever heard of Oliver Mtukudzi.
When John and Louise Riber decided to make a movie about the Zimbabwean pop star, they came upon the idea of a music video with a running documentary, and that's what ended up as Shanda. The key word there is music, and that's the first and foremost reason to check out the film. The performance aspect is second, and ...read more