Afro-jazz outfit Mokoomba has added another star on its sparkling international profile through scooping an accolade at the Songlines Music Awards.
Report by Our Staff
Mokoomba won the Best Newcomer category at the international music awards run in the United Kingdom for the album Rising Tide.
Angélique Kidjo from Benin was voted the Best Artist at the awards that recognise musicians’ international achievements in various categories.
Nominees in the categories were chosen from more than 600 albums by readers of Songlines magazine and the general public.
Mokoomba manager Marcus Gora said the achievement confirms the youthful outfit’s prowess that has seen it standing high on international stages.
“We are really blessed with great talent in the group,” said Gora.
“The various international recognitions we have achieved inspire us to work hard every day. The group has performed at various festivals and awards have been coming our way amazingly. We are grateful to our fans for selecting us among the best musicians in the world.”
Members of Mokoomba are childhood friends who grew up making music together. Much of Mokoomba’s music draws its influence from the musicians’ Tonga traditional beats but it also borrows a lot from Afro-salsa, Congolese rhumba and reggae among other international beats.
Frontman Mathias Muzaza’s incredible voice is the band’s secret weapon. Equally able to growl over funky guitar riffs or powerfully belt it out, Muzaza lends the band their signature sound.
On Rising Tide, the whole band — Muzaza, Trustworth Samende on guitar, Abundance Mutori on bass, Donald Moyo on keyboards, Costa Ndaba Moyo on drums and Miti Mugande on percussion —are tied beautifully together by the slick production of Ivorian bassist Manou Gallo.
With a European tour on the horizon, which is due to include festivals like the Essaouira Gnawa & World Music Festival, Africa Oyé and WOMAD Charlton Park, it looks like their upwards momentum won’t be stopping anytime soon.
Mokoomba performs at the Harare International Festival of the Arts that runs in the capital beginning Tuesday. They are scheduled to grace the Telecel Main Stage on May 5 at 8.30pm