TIMBILA [tim-BEE-lah] reinvents some of the most beautiful music traditions of southern Africa, with an East Village edge. The band started when Nora Balaban met Banning Eyre and Dirck Westervelt in Harare, Zimbabwe in 1997. Balaban was studying mbira (Shona thumb piano) and timbila (Chopi xylophone) with masters—Tute Chibamba in Zimbabwe, and Venancio Mbande in Mozambique. Eyre was playing guitar with Thomas Mapfumo and the Blacks Unlimited, Zimbabwe’s top traditional pop band. Eyre and Westervelt (bass, banjo, piano) had previously lived in Mali, jamming with The Super Rail Band, Sali Sidibe, Toumani Diabate and others. When the three Americans regrouped in New York, they put all this together to create the singular sound of TIMBILA.
TIMBILA has worked with a variety of superb drummers and percussionists, most recently, Madeleine Yayodele Nelson, founder and artistic director of Women of the Calabash for 35 years. Yayodele Nelson’s deep voice fills out Balaban’s and Bradshaw’s sassy vocal harmonies, and her propulsive shekere rhythms undergird TIMBILA’s joyfully seductive rhythms. The surreal buzzing beauty of timbila and hypnotic dream melodies of mbira soar with stinging guitar riffs and celestial vocals in grooves that are deeply funky, fierce and danceable. No other band sounds like TIMBILA. Video Clip
"Timbila put together the beat of Zimbabwe, Mozambique and New York City and came up with a hard driving foot-stomping groove that commands immediate attention. An original sound that demands to be heard" - Maure Aronson, World Music/CRASHarts
Tickets: $15 - Buy Atlas Soul/Timbila Combo Ticket $22 (Atlas Soul is 7:30pm show)