Music, Our Band

Album Release Announcement

Mvula Mandondo’s album release date 1 week away

The album is almost here!

I am very proud and excited to announce the imminent release of our first album due to come out this

Saturday 4th May, 2013.

This is my first venture as producer; arranging, accompaniment writing, musician and mixing engineer in collaboration with the incredibly talented and inspiring songwriter, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, Saidi Kanda.  We are called Mvula Mandondo! 

We will be sharing one song per day for the next 5 days till release. It will be available to stream for 24hrs only. Whilst you read on, click on this link now and enjoy a track for a mellow Monday afternoon (or morning depending on where you are in the world).

From the moment I first heard Saidi play at a house party where I was living in Hove in 2007 I knew his music was special.  I just sincerely hope that you agree with me! After a spontaneous jam session I contacted Saidi to see if he needed any assistance for any projects (bass, guitar, percussion).  A few months later we played at the Brighton Festival.  After several gigs the idea to record was planted.  I left Brighton for work reasons and always felt there was unfinished business, however the imminent birth of my daughter and other circumstances brought me back. A gig to open Black History Month, people asking “have you guys recorded”, encouragement from Marisa and the reality of fatherhood collaborated to give me the push I needed.

Soon after starting the recording project, Saidi began to refer to me as ‘producer’. I actually had to google it to find out what a music producer actually is and does. I was always aware who the producer was on any of my favourite albums, but now I find out that there is no clear definition, no straightforward job description.  I even had to search what mixing and mastering were all about, not knowing that what began as a ‘demo’ project would evolve into a full-blown all-in balls deep album venture.  With the former, I found out the hard way (or shall I say the expensive way), but it was a necessary step on a productive and steep learning curve.  This led to a jump in the deep end, a leap in faith to embark on what I previously thought I couldn’t and was told I shouldn’t do, but I knew the sound that we were after.  How could anybody else know?

Who is Saidi Kanda?

Saidi comes from a Tanzanian family with a traditional musical heritage. While growing up in Tanzania, Saidi learnt to play many traditional instruments of the Ndengeleko and Manyema people. He learnt these from his grandmother who played the mbira, his mother who was a singer, and traditional drummers.  At school he led the drumming group during celebrations and also learnt more at a Catholic mission from a Cuban conguero and he became well-known for his skills.
In his teens, Saidi played in several different bands, including Orchestra Kizibo and Biashara Jazz Band in Dar es Salaam and then joined one of Tanzania’s most famous bands, Remmy Ongala’s Super Matimila in 1981.

After some years this gave Saidi the opportunity for international travel as the band toured USA and Europe with WOMAD. His great talents were recognised as he was awarded WOMAD Percussionist of the Year in 1989.
Saidi has been based in Britain since 1990, residing first in London and then Brighton. He is a founding member of Orchestra Baboma who have toured Britain extensively.
Saidi was a part of Mose Fan Fan’s Somo Somo when they toured Britain in 1997 and in 2001, toured with Santana Mongoley’s Viva Congolia. Also Saidi has been closely involved with Dade Krama’s West African Folklore Project. He has appeared on Children’s ITV and Sky TV, demonstrating the traditional music of Tanzania.

As far as recordings are concerned, of course he features as a drummer and composer on many of the CDs by the bands he has played in, such as Dade Krama’s inspiring Ancestral Dance and Alan Skidmore’s Ubizo, Koffi Olomide and Papa Wemba. Very recently his talents were heavily called upon for the recording of Grace Jone’s new album in London. Mvula Mandondo’s Ambush will be the first LP featuring entirely his own compositions.Special thank to Marisa Findlay Photography

You’ve read this far, so clearly you are still interested! The digital release will be available worldwide in over 750 online downloading and streaming services this Saturday 4th May, 2013. The CD will be available through our website or directly from either of us.

Stay tuned

Stay tuned by liking our Facebook Page, following us on Twitter or Google+.  Know someone that would want to hear about us? Please forward this email onto them and help spread the word.

Thanks for your interestMusic is life!

Edward Shearer

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