The Mbira Renaissance Band is an afro-fusion, mbira inspired band based in Edmonton, Alberta. Since forming in 2013, the band has quickly become a staple in the world music seen in Edmonton and Alberta as a whole. The band’s infectious polyrhythmic sound is built around the Zimbabwean mbira (played by Chaka Zinyemba, Ronald Nyandoro and Sandy Ockenden).
The majority of songs are upbeat, dancey and weave elements of traditional mbira, jazz, reggae and afro-pop. The lyrics (sung predominantly in the Shona language by vocalists Chiedza and Chaka Zinyemba) tell stories of love, migration, African – Canadian connections and a love of culture and tradition. The electric guitar (Michael Campbell) and marimba are weaved into unforgettable solo’s while the drums (Vinay Jhass) and bass (James Stuart) provide a powerful, steady backline. A blend of visually appealing traditional and contemporary dancing by leads Chaka and Chiedza Zinyemba complete the bands' routines – and members of the audience are often encouraged to join in!