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Wazimbo

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Wazimbo is the golden voice of Mozambique. He started his career in the 1960’s, playing with various bands in the capital Maputo, when that city was a gambling Mecca for rich South Africans. After Mozambique’s independence from Portugal in 1975 Wazimbo worked with the big band of the national radio station, Radio Mozambique, which went on to become the much-loved Orchestra Marrabenta Star De Mocambique developed a full and funky style of marrabenta featuring electric guitars, powerful horn lines and soulful vocals.

Marrabenta was an urban dance music which emerged in the 1950’s and became closely identified with the independence struggle but it was almost completely wiped out (along with Mozambique’s music industry) by the bitter civil war of the 1980’s. In 1988, because of the lack of recording facilities, the band went to Zimbabwe to make an album that would eventually bring them on tour to Europe released on Piranha as “Independance” During the recording Wazimbo spontaneously sang a moving ballad called Nwahulwana. Unused on the original album and thought lost, it was rediscovered several years later during re-mixing sessions in London. The song ended up making its own way in the world and was picked up for a Microsoft commercial and then as part of the soundtrack for the Sean Penn directed film “The Pledge”, bringing wider international recognition for the golden voice of Mozambique.

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