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    Forward Kwenda 2006 - Bass Nemakonde Tuning
    Forward Kwenda 2006 - Bass Nemakonde Tuning Its almost impossible to believe that one person, playing one time, could make so much music with two thumbs and one finger! Of course, Forward Kwenda, considered by many to be the greatest living mbira player today, says that his spirits play the mbira, not him, 'How could a human being think of that?' In Zimbabwe, ancient spirits come to help the living before Kwenda can finish playing one mbira piece; thus, his mbira style is considered to be more ancient than other styles. Here, he is playing on an extremely low Nemakonde tuning mbira, a third lower than his previous Nemakonde recordings - turn up the bass on your CD player and sink into the deep sounds of Forward's musical prayers...powerful medicine... Recorded 7 June 2006 at Mbizi Game Park, Zimbabwe by Erica Azim. Tuning: Bass Nemakonde. [Total time: 79:43]
    1. audio sampleShumba  [17:30]
    2. Mauya mauya  [11:00]
    3. Nyama musango  [7:44]
    4. Marenje  [9:43]
    5. audio sampleMuzazaranda  [12:08]
    6. Tadzungaira  [21:16]


    Spirit Power: Forward Kwenda 2002
    Spirit Power: Forward Kwenda 2002 Once again, the spirits of the ancestors work their magical power through the thumbs of Forward Kwenda, as he 'gets out of the way' and lets it happen. Its fascinating to hear Forward start playing a piece, and then hear the spirits take over. You will find your heart soaring, find yourself crying, laughing, exalting in the divine. Even for those experienced in mbira music, each piece goes farther than one ever imagined... Recorded 30 March 2002. Tuning: Gandanga/Mavembe. [Total time: 64:52]
    1. Mandarendare Nhimutimu  [11:19]
    2. audio sampleMarenje  [9:55]
    3. Shumba yepasi  [9:54]
    4. Mukai tiende  [11:59]
    5. Mbavarira  [7:22]
    6. Dzauya mombe  [6:44]
    7. audio sampleDande  [7:10]


    Forward Kwenda - Dambatsoko Tuning 2002
    Forward Kwenda - Dambatsoko Tuning 2002 Never before released, this unusual recording features transcendant mbira player Forward Kwenda playing in Dambatsoko tuning. That this low-pitched tuning is not one he usually plays makes no difference at all, as spirits take his fingers dancing through mbira standanrds and a couple of unusual pieces. Forward's gentle vocals alternate between low, low bass lines and high, sweet lines...almost as if two people were singing. Recorded 17 April 2002 at Berkeley, California by Erica Azim. Tuning: Dambatsoko. [Total time: 69:58]
    1. Bangidza  [7:52]
    2. audio sampleMagora musango  [9:02]
    3. Chipindura  [6:04]
    4. Mahororo  [4:06]
    5. Nhema musasa  [7:32]
    6. Mutamba yepasi  [11:01]
    7. Kari mugomba  [6:48]
    8. Nyama musango  [6:45]
    9. audio sampleShumba yangwasha  [10:12]


    Nemakonde Through The Night -- Forward Kwenda 2002
    Nemakonde Through The Night -- Forward Kwenda 2002 This sequel to Kwenda's extremely popular Nighttime Nemakonde (MBI 3401) again features the low, low luscious sound of Forward's Nemakonde tuning and moving vocals. This one will touch your heart. After a year which included the deaths of his mother and best friend, share the comfort Forward finds with his favorite mbira in this intimate middle of the night recording. As always, many of his lyrics are asking the spirits for peace, light and wisdom. Recorded 11 April 2002 at Berkeley, CA by Erica Azim. Tuning: Nemakonde. [Total time: 73:30]
    1. audio sampleShumba yepasi  [8:53]
    2. Mutamba  [10:14]
    3. Nhema musasa  [10:02]
    4. Mukai tiende  [10:18]
    5. Marenje  [11:41]
    6. audio sampleKanhurura  [10:09]
    7. Mbavarira  [11:04]


    Nighttime Nemakonde - Forward Kwenda 2001
    Nighttime Nemakonde - Forward Kwenda 2001 The low, low luscious full sound of Forward's Nemakonde tuning mbira makes this recording favorite nighttime listening. Gentle singing perfectly complements the mbira as it moves through many moods: meditative, lively, grounded, passionate. This recording was made around 1 am, prime mbira time for a musician used to playing at the all-night mapira (ceremonies) used to call ancestors and other benevolent spirits in Zimbabwe. Recorded 18 October. 2001 at Berkeley, CA by Erica Azim. Musician: Forward Kwenda. Tuning: Nemakonde. [Total time: 47:17]
    1. audio sampleMbavarira  [5:48]
    2. Marenje  [9:14]
    3. Chipembere  [9:43]
    4. Nyuchi  [9:03]
    5. audio sampleTadzungaira  [13:10]


    Chakwi - Forward Kwenda 2001
    Chakwi - Forward Kwenda 2001 'Chakwi' or 'Machakwi' is a marshy place. 2001 was a marshy, mucky time in history for both Zimbabwe (economic collapse, political violence, AIDS catastrophe) and the U.S. (recession, terrorism, hate). The healing qualities of mbira music have never been more important. As Forward puts it, 'If everyone in the world played mbira, there would always be peace.' On this recording, Forward Kwenda plays solo nyamaropa tuning mbira in a very, very high pitch, contrasting with his deep pitched soulful vocals for a uniquely beautiful texture. One highlight is Kambiriviri, which sounds like Tadzungaira met Taireva. It puts your ears inside Forward's deze (calabash mbira resonator). Recorded 17-18 October, 2001 at Berkeley, CA by Erica Azim. Musician: Forward Kwenda. Tuning: Nyamaropa. [Total time: 77:25]
    1. audio sampleChakwi  [8:11]
    2. audio sampleChipindura  [8:58]
    3. Bangidza  [9:58]
    4. Nhema musasa  [14:44]
    5. Muzoriwa  [8:27]
    6. Taireva  [10:06]
    7. Kambiriviri  [8:23]
    8. Shumba  [8:27]


    Katsanzaira Tuning Collection - Forward Kwenda 2000
    Katsanzaira Tuning Collection - Forward Kwenda 2000 Katsanzaira is a sweet high mbira tuning -- the name refers to the first gentle rain before a storm hits. The Dorian mode intervals of this tuning give a haunting flavor to many mbira pieces. This recording includes standards from the ancient Shona mbira repertoire, and an unusual piece, Zvarambwa, which has a 22 beat cycle consisting of three phrases of 8, 6, and 8 beats. Listen to Dangurangu and see if you can tell when Forward is no longer there and the spirits are playing mbira! And Taireva yepasi is an oh, so sweet favorite. Recorded 2000 - various dates at US - various locations by Erica Azim, Paul Wagner, California State University at Northridge Performing Arts Center. Musicians: Forward Kwenda, mbira and vocals Erica Azim, vocals on two tracks. Tuning: Katsanzaira. [Total time: 79:59]
    1. Nyama musango  [12:47]
    2. audio sampleTaireva yepasi  [10:00]
    3. Nhema musasa  [11:40]
    4. Shumba  [5:36]
    5. Zvarambwa  [11:27]
    6. Nyama musango  [5:02]
    7. audio sampleDangurangu  [23:08]


    Mahororo & More: Forward Kwenda 23 April 2000
    Mahororo & More: Forward Kwenda 23 April 2000 Voyages into mbira classics with that fascinating and unpredicatable Kwenda style. If you love Mahororo, you’ll particularly enjoy this one! Played on a buzzy medium-low pitch (around G#) nyamaropa tuning mbira made by Josephat Mandaza. Recorded 23 Apr 2000 at Berkeley, CA. Tuning: Nyamaropa. [Total time: 58:24]
    1. Mahororo  [15:18]
    2. audio sampleTaireva  [14:40]
    3. Chakwi  [9:42]
    4. audio sampleMahororo  [6:42]
    5. Mahororo  [12:04]


    Forward Kwenda & Erica Azim 1999 House Concert in Berkeley
    Forward Kwenda & Erica Azim 1999 House Concert in Berkeley You'll have a 2 1/2 hour transformational journey through the realm of the ancestors, listening to this warm live recording of an intimate mbira house concert on 2 October 1999. Included are various traditional songs and tunings, including 21 minutes of a deep piece that happened in the moment on Dambatsoko tuning, which was named afterwards ‘Nyamaropa yepasichigare’ (Nyamaropa of the olden days). Tracks 1-6 and 10 are played in mavembe (gandanga) tuning. Tracks 8 and 9 are played in Nemakonde tuning. Recorded at Berkeley, California. Tuning: mavembe/gandanga, nemakonde, Dambatsoko. [Total time: 137:00]
    1. Marenje  [17:48]
    2. audio sampleShumba  [13:55]
    3. Chipembere  [10:21]
    4. audio sampleNyama musango  [10:14]
    5. Mbavarira  [14:04]
    6. Mutamba  [13:58]
    7. audio sampleNyamaropa yepasichigare  [21:14]
    8. Marenje  [14:14]
    9. Kanhurura  [6:05]
    10. Tadzungaira  [15:08]


    Forward Kwenda at Mbizi Game Park 30 April 1999: Nyamaropa & Nemakonde Tuning Mbira & Vocals
    Forward Kwenda at Mbizi Game Park 30 April 1999: Nyamaropa & Nemakonde Tuning Mbira & Vocals More than two hours of Forward Kwenda exploring mbira classics in the style of his spirits. Most of this recording is in “MBIRA workshop pitch” nyamaropa tuning; the first 3 tracks are in nemakonde tuning. Tuning: Nemakonde & Nyamaropa. [Total time: 136:45]
    1. audio sampleMbavarira (nemakonde tuning) [3:22]
    2. Mutamba (nemakonde tuning) [3:50]
    3. Nyama musango [Chinzvenga mutsvairo] (nemakonde tuning) [8:41]
    4. Nhema musasa (nyamaropa tuning) [7:30]
    5. Nyama musango [Chinzvenga mutsvairo] (nyamaropa tuning) [6:48]
    6. Tadzungaira (nyamaropa tuning) [6:32]
    7. Mahororo (nyamaropa tuning) [10:02]
    8. Tadzungaira (nyamaropa tuning) [13:08]
    9. audio sampleBangidza (nyamaropa tuning) [7:15]
    10. Chaminuka ndimambo (nyamaropa tuning) [11:08]
    11. Baya wabaya (nyamaropa tuning) [8:12]
    12. Taireva  [6:34]
    13. Nhema musasa  [10:30]
    14. audio sampleMahororo  [12:35]
    15. Nyama musango  [8:00]
    16. Mukai tiende  [12:38]


    Forward Kwenda 29 July 1998 - Mavembe/Gandanga Tuning Mbira
    Forward Kwenda 29 July 1998 - Mavembe/Gandanga Tuning Mbira This Kwenda recording, all in mavembe (gandanga) tuning, includes two different styles of Marenje, a classic mbira piece particularly used to pray for rain in times of drought. Musician: Forward Kwenda. Tuning: Mavembe/Gandanga. [Total time: 71:50]
    1. Tadzungaira  [11:52]
    2. audio sampleMarenje  [11:10]
    3. Mukai tiende  [14:38]
    4. Chipembere  [8:56]
    5. audio sampleMarenje  [9:14]
    6. audio sampleChipembere nhimutimu  [7:20]
    7. Dzauya mombe  [8:42]


    Tadzungaira yepasi - Forward Kwenda 1997 Nyamaropa Tuning
    Tadzungaira yepasi - Forward Kwenda 1997 Nyamaropa Tuning Tadzungaira ('We are suffering') is an ancient mbira song played to end all suffering in the world. This 46 minute long performance has long been a favorite (as Tape 214) for massage sessions, bedtime after a stressful day, long drives, and more...enjoy it now in CD format! The sweet sound of the mbira is a perfect counterpoint to unique lyrics that encourage us to remember that we are not alone, that we should love and support one another, and leave envy and violence behind. Recorded 1997. Musician: Forward Kwenda. Tuning: Nyamaropa. [Total time: 45:58]
    1. audio sampleTadzungaira yepasi  [45:58]


    Tadzungaira: A Prayer to End All Suffering, Vol. 1. Forward Kwenda 1996-7
    Tadzungaira: A Prayer to End All Suffering, Vol. 1.  Forward Kwenda 1996-7 Forward Kwenda plays Tadzungaira ('We are suffering') as a prayer to the ancestors to end all suffering in the world. He is known in Zimbabwe and internationally for his incredible solo performances of this piece - an expression of all our tears, and the exaltation of the human spirit. The first three tracks were originally recorded on a cassette walkman, but captured amazing performances in casual settings. Note the use of a loose key to add extra percussion on tracks 1 and 3. MBIRA recordings do not use overdubbing - what you are hearing is truly Forward playing one time with two thumbs and one finger. Recorded 1996-7 at Zimbabwe - various, and US. Musician: Forward Kwenda. Tuning: Gandanga/mavembe. [Total time: 79:46]
    1. audio sampleTadzungaira 16 Jan 1997  [16:00]
    2. Tadzungaira May 1996  [22:06]
    3. Tadzungaira 16 Jan 1997  [21:02]
    4. Tadzungaira 21 Aug 1997  [9:41]
    5. audio sampleTadzungaira 15 April 1996  [10:37]


    Trance 3 CD: Forward Kwenda on a mountaintop, Zen shakuhachi, Tembang Sunda from West Java
    Trance 3 CD: Forward Kwenda on a mountaintop, Zen shakuhachi, Tembang Sunda from West Java Forward Kwenda playing Tadzungaira and Gonamombe Rerume on a mountaintop in Mhondoro at sunset (23 minutes). Completely transcendent. A soaring of the spirit! The balance of the CD is Japanese shakuhachi and Tembang Sunda music of West Java - the compilation of the three works amazingly well. CD only. (Ellipsis Arts) Musician: Forward Kwenda.


    Svikiro: Meditations of an Mbira Master - Forward Kwenda (with Erica Azim)
    Svikiro: Meditations of an Mbira Master - Forward Kwenda (with Erica Azim) In Zimbabwe, a savannah land of tall grasses, granite hills and acacia trees, rain is of paramount importance. The svikiro is a human keeper of a spirit which has the power to provide or withhold rain from the land. In his early teens, Forward Kwenda was selected by these rainmaking spirits to sing and play the ancient mbira dzavadzimu at ceremonies. A self-taught, intuitive musical prodigy, Forward was in constant demand to perform and record within two years of starting to play the mbira. 'When I pick up my mbira, I don't know what is going to happen..the music just goes by itself, taking me higher and higher until I can end up crying because the music is so much greater than a human being can understand.' This is the first Forward Kwenda CD; Erica Azim plays with Forward on some cuts. (Shanachie) Musicians: Forward Kwenda, Erica Azim. Tuning: Gandanga/Mavembe, Nyamaropa, Nemakonde.
    1. audio sampleKanhurura (Forward Kwenda) (gandanga/mavembe tuning) [5:19]
    2. Gonamombe rerume (Forward Kwenda, Erica Azim) (gandanga/mavembe tuning) [5:58]
    3. audio sampleZvichapera chete (Forward Kwenda) (gandanga/mavembe tuning) [6:38]
    4. audio sampleChipembere nhimutimu (Forward Kwenda) (gandanga/mavembe tuning)
    5. audio sampleTadzungaira (Forward Kwenda) (gandanga/mavembe tuning)
    6. Chipembere (Forward Kwenda, Erica Azim) (Nemakonde tuning)
    7. Mukai tiende (Forward Kwenda, Erica Azim) (Nemakonde tuning)
    8. Mandarendare (Forward Kwenda) (gandanga/mavembe tuning) [5:36]
    9. Chipindura (Forward Kwenda, Erica Azim) (Nyamaropa tuning) [5:34]
    10. Mahororo (Forward Kwenda, Erica Azim) (Nyamaropa tuning) [6:23]
    11. Chidhangechidhange (Forward Kwenda) (gandanga/mavembe tuning) [4:41]

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