Female a cappella group Nobuntu fuses soul-stirring sounds, traditional African instruments, and joyful dance
September 16, 2019
Experience the soul-stirring, joyful sounds of Nobuntu, a female a cappella quintet from Zimbabwe acclaimed for inventive performances that range from traditional Zimbabwean songs to Afro-jazz to gospel, when the ensemble comes to the Moss Arts Center on Sept. 26 at 7:30 p.m.
The performance will be held in the center’s Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre, located within the Street and Davis Performance Hall at 190 Alumni Mall.
The ensemble performs with pure voices, augmented by percussion; traditional instruments, such as the mbira (thumb piano); and authentic dance movements. Representing a new generation of young African women singers who celebrate and preserve their culture, beauty, and heritage through art, Nobuntu is part of a Moss Arts Center performance season that celebrates the powerful voices of fierce women.
The word “Nobuntu” is an African concept that values humbleness, love, unity, and family from a woman’s perspective. The ensemble believes that music is an important vehicle for change, one that transcends racial, tribal, religious, gender, and economic boundaries.
Nobuntu was nominated for best musician of the year at the Zimbabwe International Women Awards in London in 2015 and has performed at festivals and concert halls in Italy, Austria, Germany, Belgium, the Czech Republic, and throughout Africa. The ensemble was a huge critical success at Trans-Vocal in Frankfurt and Voice Mania in Vienna.
The ensemble has released three recordings — “Thina” in 2013, “Ekhaya” in 2016, and “Obabes beMbube” in 2018 — and made dozens of television and radio appearances throughout Africa and Europe promoting its music and the culture of its homeland.
In Zimbabwe Nobuntu sponsors a number of community initiatives, including the Nobuntu Pad Bank, where they collect sanitary pads for young women in the arts living in underprivileged communities.
This performance is supported in part by a gift from G. Davis Saunders Jr.
During its visit, Nobuntu will explore vocal techniques rooted in numerous African traditions with members of the Virginia Tech Chamber Singers and lead an African dance workshop with Virginia Tech students in an intermediate/advanced dance course.
The ensemble and the center will also present a free school-day performance for students in grades kindergarten to sixth from the cities of Radford and Roanoke, as well as Floyd, Giles, Montgomery, Botetourt, Bland, Craig, and Roanoke counties. “Africa Up Close” will show the students a diversity of arts and cultural traditions from numerous African countries.
Tickets are $20-45 for general public and $10 for students and youth 18 and under. Tickets can be purchased online; at the Moss Arts Center's box office, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; or by calling 540-231-5300 during box office hours.
While Virginia Tech students can always attend any Moss Arts Center performance for only $10, the center also offers free last-minute rush tickets for students who sign up for text notifications. To receive these notifications, text “arts” to 31996. Availability of rush tickets varies by performance and tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last in the box office. Virginia Tech ID will be required for admission.
Parking is available in the North End Parking Garage on Turner Street. Virginia Tech faculty and staff possessing a valid Virginia Tech parking permit can enter and exit the garage free of charge. Limited street parking is also available. Parking on Alumni Mall is free on weekdays after 5 p.m. and on weekends.
If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Kacy McAllister at 540-231-5300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to an event.