Mathew Tembo, NIU Afropop Ensemble to play

Mathew Tembo

Mathew Tembo

Led by Mathew Tembo, the NIU Afropop Ensemble will present a concert at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, in the Recital Hall of the Music Building.

Currently a graduate student at NIU, Tembo is a well-known Afropop musician from Zambia, Central Africa. He takes music straight from the villages of Zambia, creating his own genre of music that fuses reggae, jazz and traditional Zambian rhythms, and blends it with the modern sounds of the NIU Afropop Ensemble for a truly unique style.

His handmade silimba (Zambian marimba) and kalimba (thumb piano) provide the backbone for the songs. The ensemble adds texture and depth with keyboards, guitar, bass, horns and percussion.

Tembo has recorded seven CDs and has toured Africa, Europe and the United States.

He has played with popular world music performers such as 3MA and Oliver Mtukuzi and has also shared a stage with renowned reggae artists such as Michael Rose, Fyahwyah, Pato Banton and Steven Marley. He has been compared to African music heavyweight, Thomas Mapfumo, as the late South African reggae icon, Lucky Dube.

For more information, call (815) 753-7979 or email jcwang@niu.edu.

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