Sekuru Simon Mashoko-The legend, who was one of the first musicians to be recorded on the mbira, is also one of the kindest people I've met. He plays the njari, a 29 key mbira with unison notes on the upper layer of keys. It is played with both thumbs and index fingers and often the thumbs will "strum" more than one key at once. This CD was recorded live at Sekuru Mashoko's home in Nyika. About 50 miles East of Masvingo. He lives a simple life with his children and grandchildren. He spent much of his life spreading the message of the Catholic church.
(2001, Length 54:32, Notes: 4pp.)
(Written in 2001) Hallelujah is a devotional album played solo by Sekuru Mashoko. We woke at 6:00AM and went into the church that he built behind his house. There Mashoko set up a chair in the middle of the room and began to play his mbira. He played for an hour without stopping- shifting effortlessly from song to song. Sekuru Mashoko plays with the seemingly effortless style that can only be heard by the very old. The music ebbs and flows with his voice as if every aspect of the music is just coming straight from his soul. More than any other player, I felt like I was listening to an old blues guitar player sitting on his porch-just playin' the blues. It feels like he is putting every bit of his energy into every note he sings. Sekuru Mashoko is a beautiful man, that to this day, wakes up every morning and builds mbira and has a beer. I remember waking up in the middle of the night at his house with his mbira music filling all the spaces around me. It seemed to be coming from everywhere. The next morning, Sekuru said, "Oh, did you hear me praying last night?" It seems that Sekuru Mashoko lives his religion every minute of his life.
Song translations are currently underway-they will be made available online to those that have purchased this CD.