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Hamlet Zhou
Album :Mavanga
Genre: World Music / Zimbabwe
Red Admiral Records
14th January 2011

Sample The Album Mavanga

Hamlet Zhou (36) is a Zimbabwean musician and songwriter, though originally born in the country he moved to the city for a better education. Hamlet started playing at the age of 9 with a home made banjo/guitar. His reputation as a guitarist and vocalist has progressed for the past 15 years gaining regular live and recording experience with musicians from Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa and Mozambique. Performing at festivals such as Mapungubwe, Opikopi, The Standard jazz festival, Masa festival in the Ivory Coast, Africa festival Germany and Roskild festival in Denmark.

The Movement Band
Hamlet Zhou - lead vocals and guitars, composer
Lazarus Wiliam - drums and backing vocals
Alastus Mushoriwa - keyboards and bass guitar

Since the band’s formation and release their first album ‘Chirimumoyo’ in 2006 they have been ambassadors of Zimbabwean traditional music to South African festivals.  They play Mbira music, which is important to keep the flame of Zimbabwean culture burning. It helps the young grasp traditional values and maintains their identity, as the generations are slowly moving from African and Zimbabwean culture towards western type of music.

Read More about Hamlet in The Tablet Magazine article
Lemba guitarist Hamlet Zhou takes an interest in his African-Jewish heritage for a new album

The Band use their music as media to maintain and safeguard the threatened culture to teach all generations to lead lives free of killer diseases such as HIV/AIDS. The song titled  ‘Mavanga’ advises the young to take heed of advice from the elderly in order to live safely and longer.

Band members were groomed into refined artistes by Mbira music masters such as Andy Brown, Chioniso Maraire, Ephert Mujuru, Dawn Gumbo, German based Stella Chiweshe and Thomas Maphumo now stationed in America.

Local music events are held around town mainly at beer out-lets, and are a real crowd puller. Visitors to Harare from all over the world enjoy cultural music. They attend the shows creating a big market for traditional music instruments such as Mbira and beating drums. They can learn how to play the instruments and export them to their countries at the end of their visits which also helps support the musicians and workers of the area.

The Movement Band members want to sustain and take cultural music to greater heights with a cultural music centre in Harare. Manufacturing traditional musical instruments and teaching people how to play the them. Approaching potential donors such as Non Governmental Organisations (NGO’s) for assistance has been a help but more is needed to secure the future of Zimbabwe culture so the band welcome any opportunity to tour and exhibit to the outside world through events and festivals, in Africa and abroad.

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