Feb. 19, 2011

Vol. 6, Num. 2

Kalimba Magic NEWS

5 New CDs from Leading Kalimba Artists

Mbira Magic

Kevin Nathanial Hylton Mbira Magical

Listen to Mbira Magical.

Purchase Mbira Magical.

Usually when I hear a kalimba recording, my mind seems to construct a little video of how to play the song. For many kalimba songs, I can see how to play them just in my mind's eye - though there may be some parts that need some refinement later.

Kevin's music is played on the karimba (aka mbira nyunga nyunga), an instrument I am familiar with, yet when the music floats through my brain, I cannot see how it is played. To say the least, his playing is exotic and very advanced. The fact that Kevin is playing instruments that he has made himself deepens the experience.

Kevin's karimba music is not traditional, but it is, nonetheless, able to transport the listener to another place and time that feels like ancient Africa.

While Kevin's first CD was solo karimba, this CD adds shakers and percussion and flutes to the mix. Some of the flute parts are reminiscent of the communal one-note African flutes or "One man, one note" as Hugh Tracey said. A song is built up from several players each playing their different notes at exactly the right point in the music. The extra instruments, especially the flutes, add a lot to the texture of the music, but the real magic is rooted in Kevin's adept mbira performance.

Caetano Veloca CD

Decio Gioielli

Caetano Veloso

Listen to Caetano Veloso.

Purchase Caetano Veloso.

Decio Gioielli, from Brazil, is Andrew Tracey's favorite kalimba player. This new CD is intended for children, but there is nothing childish about this music, which is beautiful, peaceful, charming, and exhibits a great deal of kalimba skill on multiple instruments. This is soothing and relaxing music for anyone - young or old!



Honey Circuit

Eric Freeman
Honey Circuit


Listen to Honey Circuit.

Purchase Honey Circuit.

Eric Freeman is a multi-talented music producer who makes wonderful rhythm and groove-based recordings. In the past he has teamed up with African drummers, new age violinists, and techno beats. In his latest recording, he presents the vocal talents of Boston-based singer Misha Rutman. Eric adds his percussion, kalimba playing, and skills as a producer to this ambient-pop soundscape. Sounds like: Electronica / Indie / Pop / Water!

You can listen more at the Honey Circuit MySpace page.

Kalimba Echo

Lennox Mayes

Kalimba Echo


Listen to Kalimba Echo.

Purchase Kalimba Echo.

Lennox Mayes is an old school kalimba player in the tradition of Maurice White of Earth, Wind, and Fire.

Lenox began his music career 25 years ago as a percussionist and kalimba player while growing up on the south side of Chicago. Lenox gained confidence and a local following by winning numerous talent showcases. His kalimba would entice every audience with its unique charm. Lenox Mayes' music is contemporary smooth jazz/world music with rhythmic and melodic nuances from Africa. He combines strong percussive beats with crisp synthesizer sounds and tops them off with vocals and of course, the kalimba.

Assortment of Kalimbas CD

Mark Holdaway

An Assortment of Kalimbas $3

Listen to An Assortment.

Purchase An Assortment of Kalimbas.

This is basically a demo CD that shows how two or three kalimbas can sound great together. Pairings include: two karimbas, two sansulas, Hugh Tracey alto and pentatonic kalimbas, three tunes with Hugh Tracey alto and treble kalimbas, two sansulas in Beautiful E tuning, and a tune with an acoustic and an electric Hugh Tracey pentatonic kalimba. The Cloud Nine Marimbula holds down the bass on all tracks but one.

Two and three years ago, I gave these CDs away with every kalimba purchased from Kalimba Magic. Now the Kalimba Magic Catalog comes with a CD, so we aren't giving these away anymore - but we are offerring them for a very affordable $3. No graphics or jewel case.



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