Zambian Musician, A Success In The Pop World, Wants To Preserve His Country's Traditional Music

Sep 21, 2012

Zambian Matthew Tembo got his bachelor's degree in classical music-playing Bach on the piano. He moved on to become a leading touring and recording artist in both the reggae and Afropop genres. But for the last several years, he's devoted himself to kindling an interest in his countrymen for Zambia's traditional instruments and music. To that end, he founded the Sing Your Own Song Festival, which encourages musicians to create music that embraces that tradition. More recently, he has come to Northern Illinois University, where he is working on master's degree in World Music. He is the founder and leader of the NIU Afropop Ensemble.

Saturday, September 22nd, at 7 p.m., at the House Cafe, Tembo leads the Ensemble as part of a benefit concert for his Festival. The NIU Middle Eastern and Chinese Ensembles will also perform, as will the NIU Steel Band.