This music, largely played at ceremonies and more recently incorporated into electric pop music, has been passed down from generation to generation throughout that time. Some songs being played today are as old as the instrument itself. Usually two or more musicians play interlocking parts. With careful listening, one can hear a multitude of melodies. For amplication, the mbira is played inside a large resonating gourd (deze). The music has made its way to North America in the last 30 years and a devoted audince is growing for this subtle, yet powerful music. More and more people are learning to play, as well. In the recording, three tunings have been used: Nyamaropoa, Gandanga, and Dambatsoko.
Nathan Beck and Marian Grebanier, North Americans who formed NJUZU MBIRA, have studied and played mbira for the last decade. They have both been to Zimbabwe for extended stays. Their teachers have included Tute Chigamba, Cosmas Magaya, Fradreck Mujuru, and Erica Azim among many others. For this recording, Mark Burdon joined NJUZU MBIRA playing hosho (shakers).
Njuzu are white water spirits.