Zimbabwe Nkenya Benefit Concert

Saturday January 30, 2010, 7:30 pm
Kranzberg Arts Center Black Box Theatre
Grand Center 501 N. Grand

Jim Hegarty, Fred Tompkins, Deb Summers (representing the NMC)
Bobo Shaw, drums and George Sams, trumpet
Dave Cheli’s “Tribal Chicken”
HaZMaT (Tom Zirkle and Matt Henry)
Baba Mike Nelson, trumpet
Poets Curtis Lyle and Michael Castro

Zimbabwe Nkenya is a St. Louis native and a highly regarded and creative bass player.  Zimbabwe has appeared on several New Music Circle events recently and is one of our beloved performers.

Sadly, he experienced a stroke earlier this past fall that has prevented him from playing.  Because the NMC greatly supports our musicians and has especially enjoyed his wonderful spirit and creativity, our board of directors decided to try to help him in a tangible way.  Rather than charge for tickets, admission to this concert will be by contribution, with all proceeds going to Zimbabwe and his wife Deborah.  All the musicians are volunteering their services.

Since moving back to St. Louis in 2007, Zimbabwe has performed at the Ivory Perry Park Festival, St. Louis African Arts Festival, the Art Outside Festival at Shlafly Bottleworks, at the Gramophone, Legacy Books, Open Lot, Scott Joplin House State Historic Site, the St. Louis County Library, St. Louis Art Museum, Jazz at the Holmes Series, Kemper Art Museum (Birth of the Cool Tribute to Miles Davis and a spring 2008 solo Mbira performance), at the Third Degree Glass Factory, with original member of The Last Poets Dahveed Nelson at Central Reform Congregation, at KDHX’s Midwest Mayhem Festival, Performance/Workshop with Tatsuya Nakatani & a BAG II Workshop Series at the Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center, with Douglas Ewart at the Velvet Lounge in Chicago and with Cooper-Moore at Joe’s Cafe.

In addition to his active playing career, Nkenya has also been an educator, playing concerts, workshops and residencies for school children. For some 20 years, he hosted one of New Mexico’s most respected radio shows, KUNM’s Sunday night special, “The House that Jazz Built.”

Zimbabwe has performed with some of the finest internationally known musicians on the creative music scene including Cooper-Moore, Ajule Sonny Rutlin, Warren Smith, Ku-umba Frank Lacy, Jerome ‘Scrooge’ Harris, Julius Hemphill, Rob Brown, Douglas Ewart, Abdul Wadud, William Parker, Fred Ho’s Afro-Asian Music Ensemble, Anthony Braxton, Oliver Lake, Daniel Carter, Frank Morgan, Eddie Gale, J A Deane, Floyd LeFlore, Chris Jonas, Mary Redhouse, Bill Cole’s Yoruba Proverbs, Jim Marshall, Tom Hamilton, and Maurice ‘Malik’ King. Zimbabwe has also collaborated with poets Quincy Troupe, Eugene B. Redmond, Linda Piper, Mike ‘360’ Ipiotes, Joy Harjo, Virginia Hampton, Michael Castro, Shirley LeFlore, K. Curtis Lyle and Arthur Ray Brown.

Zimbabwe has performed at Brooklyn Academy of Music, Lincoln Center, Knitting Factory, NYU, Hunter College, PS 122, and Riverside Church as well as The BRIDE in Philadelphia and One World Festival, Detroit. In New York he was featured in the two-year run of Izulu Dance Theater’s Off-Broadway musical production HALALA, at the Douglas Fairbanks Theater.

The Douglas R. Ewart performance originally scheduled for this date (1/30/10) has been rescheduled to Saturday, February 13.  Please see our website for more information on Mr. Ewart’s performance.