Monoswezi is a collective of musicians originally from Mozambique, Norway, Sweden and Zimbabwe. With a common passion for traditional African music in general, and music from Zimbabwe and Mozambique in particular, Monoswezi seeks a musical expression, where respect for tradition is combined with different references and experiences from jazz and modern Western music. In addition to traditional music, Monoswezi performs music composed by the band members, with a strong improvisational approach.
The population in Mozambique and Zimbabwe, has a distinctive, long and rich musical tradition that is very strong in the society today. In addition to vocals, important instruments are, drums, percussion, local marimbas in all sizes, and mbira. The mbira is considered the national instrument of Zimbabwe, and has been played by the Shona peolpe for more than a thousand years.
The traditional music in Zimbabwe and Mozambique has many similarities with Western music. The rhythmic foundation of the music can be found in parts of the American jazz tradition, while it has repetitative and thematic similarities with the music of contemporary composer such as Steve Reich and Philip Glass.
Very often, this music will be accompanied by dancing and participation by the audience. There is little distinction between the performer and the audience, both are often actively involved in the music-making.