Legendary musician Mtebeti Wambali Mkandawire finally gets to the stage tomorrow night as he is set to launch his ninth album titled Calabrash Breath at Bingu International Conference Centre in Lilongwe.
The versatile musician, who in 2013 received a Life Time Achiever Award organised by Media Corp and Trocadero in partnership with Musicians Union of Malawi (Mum), will be launching the album fresh from receiving an honorary PhD in Musicology to be conferred by Cyprus International Institute of Texas, USA on the same day.
Wambali will be receiving the honorary PhD in musicology in the morning at the same venue before getting to the stage to offer a live performance backed by his newly assembled group featuring among others drummer Amos Mlolowa, percussionist Daniel Thom aka DT, keyboardist Gresham Mokwena, Emmanuel from Zambia on guitar and a Congolese on bass player..
Wambali said he is looking forward to the launch and urged people to come to be part of what he described as a historic show.
“As I said Malawi needs to establish its different genres although its has established others and so jazz is one of them. There are musicians who have already done that so I wouldn’t claim that I am championing it only that I just being more aggressive and I want to show it in this album which is all instrumental and there is no voice. It’s just like the album I did with Manyasa titled Up and Down the Shire only that this time I was testing the waters,” he said.
He comes back with Calabrash Breath having announced the past years that he had retired from public performances.
“This latest album is one of those things I have been doing behind the scenes and I am glad you just said I am back in the limelight, you did not say that I retired from music completely as some people imply. I did retire from public performances as I said but that does not mean that I stopped making music at all. To retire from making music means throwing away your guitar and not even play at all,” said Wambali.
The singer and guitarist’s latest album is coming after he released Liberty but the artist says this project is different from Calabrash Breath.
“In Liberty I used a choir and this was a worship project and in this album I was trying to show people how you can write songs in English and have African rhythms. I call Liberty a text book or training programme but Calabrash Breath is afro-jazz,” said Wambali
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