Share
Music

Mokoomba, one of Zimbabwe’s most exciting young bands, set for San Diego debut

Hailing from Victoria Fall in Zimbabwe, Mokoomba is fast gaining an international following for its ebullient music.
Hailing from Victoria Fall in Zimbabwe, Mokoomba is fast gaining an international following for its ebullient music.

The dance-happy Mokoomba, whose members grew up near Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, are one of the most acclaimed young bands to come out of Africa in recent years

Zim-rock?

Tonga-pop?

No matter what catchy designation has been attached to the fast-rising Zimbabwean band Mokoomba, its ebullient music is easily able to leap borders and build bridges.

The group is led by the charismatic singer Mathias Muzaza, who shines equally whether performing in his native language, Tonga, or in English.

The six-piece band draws from South African township-jive, Congolese soukous, rock, funk and hip-hop, while also making musical nods to such earlier Zimbabwean music luminaries as Bhundu Boys and Thomas Mapfumo & The Blacks Unlimited.

With any luck, Mokoomba’s debut San Diego concert on Wednesday will include “Nyaradzo,” a stunning a cappella song whose plucky lyrics describe the art of courtship with more than a bit of chutzpah.

Mokoomba: 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 24. Price Center East Ballroom, University of California at San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla. $30. (858) 534-8497. artpower.ucsd.edu/event/mokoomba