Oliver Mtukudzi

Oliver Mtukudzi : Living Tuku Music in Zimbabwe

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Oliver "Tuku" Mtukudzi, a Zimbabwean guitarist, vocalist, and composer, has performed worldwide and released some 50 albums. One of a handful of artists to have a beat named after him, Mtukudzi blends Zimbabwean traditional sounds with South African township music and American gospel and soul, to compose what is known as Tuku Music. In this biography, Jennifer W. Kyker looks at Mtukudzi's life and art, from his encounters with Rhodesian soldiers during the Zimbabwe war of liberation to his friendship with American blues artist Bonnie Raitt. With unprecedented access to Mtukudzi, Kyker breaks down his distinctive performance style using the Shona concept of "hunhu," or human identity through moral relationships, as a framework. By reading Mtukudzi's life in connection with his lyrics and the social milieu in which they were created, Kyker offers an engaging portrait of one of African music's most recognized performers. Interviews with family, friends, and band members make this a penetrating, sensitive, and uplifting biography of one of the world's most popular musicians.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 17.78mm | 24g
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 30 b&w illus.
  • 0253022312
  • 9780253022318
  • 1,790,796

Table of contents

Introduction: The Art of Determination
1. Hwaro/Foundations
2. Performing the Nation's History
3. Singing Hunhu after Independence
4. Neria: Singing the Politics of Inheritance
5. Return to Dande
6. Listening as Politics
7. What Shall We Do?: Music, Dialogue, and HIV/AIDS
8. Listening in the Wilderness
Conclusion: I Have Finished My Portion of the Field
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Review quote

With this book, Kyker gives an account of Mtukudzi's musical life, but to call it a biography would be misleading. While it does take a mostly chronological journey through Tuku's story, it uses his life and music as a jumping-off point to talk about the role of music across various facets of Zimbabwean social life and history. . . . Kyker has created a thoroughly fascinating book. * Songlines *
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About Jennifer W. Kyker

Jennifer W. Kyker holds a joint appointment as Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology at Eastman School of Music and the College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering at the University of Rochester.
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