Zungula Plaatjies or ‘Dizu’ as he is fondly known, is an indigenous musician and son of a Mpondomise traditional healer Shadrack Plaatjies. Dizu grew up surrounded by the phenomenon of ritual and music common in the Nguni culture of South Africa. In the early 1970s in Cape Town Dizu collaborated with his peers to form a musical collective that saw him in the role of a DJ, performer and an advocate of the arts in his community of Langa Township. By the late 1970s Dizu had formed his band Amampondo, touring the Americas, Europe and the Far East. This was a remarkable achievement for a band that had started busking in Sea Point and Greenmarket Square and became world renowned well before the laws of Apartheid were abolished in the 1990s. Dizu is presently holding a senior lecturer position in African music practical studies at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Piter Bedoian is Master of the Grupo Nzinga de Capoeira Angola (www.nzinga.org.br) where coordinates a branch in Tucuruvi, located in the North of São Paulo. He is member of the Orquestra N’zinga de Berimbaus, whose aim is to mix the Afro-Brazilian rhythms with berimbaus and percussion.
Luka Xikhapani Mukhavele musicianship has been shaped since his childhood along the Limpopo valley, Gaza province in the south of Mozambique where he was exposed to all forms of local and regional musical traditions and instruments. He studied at the Zimbabwe College of Ethnomusicology Trust, graduated an MA in World music studies at The University of Sheffield and is working towards his PhD in Ethno-organology. At present he lectures Acoustics and Organology Study of Mozambican Traditional Musical Instruments and Construction of Mozambican Traditional Musical Instruments at the Eduardo Mondlane University, in Maputo. He also teaches music education at the Maputo International School, researches and builds musical instruments as well as perform under his own Mukhambira Ethnomusical Project.
Ncebakazi Mnukwana is a researcher of Nguni bow music specialising in Xhosa umrhubhe and uhadi. A music educator, she spends most of her days training teachers, and is lecturer in ethnomusicology and World music at the Konservatorium, at Stellenbosch University in South Africa.
Matthias Röhrig Assunção is a professor of History at the University of Essex. His publications include Capoeira: The History of an Afro-Brazilian Martial Art (2005) and De Caboclos a Bem-te-vis (2015), a history of plantation society in Maranhão, Northern Brazil. He also co-directed the documentary films Verses and Cudgels. Stick Playing in the Afro-Brazilian Culture of the Paraíba Valley, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2009) and Body Games. Capoeira and Ancestry (2014). More information at www.essex.ac.uk/people/assuncao
Mestre Cobra Mansa (Cinézio Peçanha) has been a Master of Capoeira Angola since 1986. He is one of the principal figures responsible for the revitalization of Capoeira Angola. In 1996, he founded the International Foundation of Capoeira Angola (FICA) in Washington DC, and participated as producer, consultant, and actor in diverse documentary films about capoeira. He is the co-director of the film Jogo de corpo: Capoeira and Ancestry (2014). He is currently pursuing doctoral studies in the multi- institutional and multidisciplinary program (DMMDC) at the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA) in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.
Salil Sachdev is on the faculty of music at Bridgewater State University, Massachusetts, USA. He has composed music for the orchestra, percussion, piano, theater, voice, and electronic music. His teaching areas comprise music theory, form and analysis, introduction to world music, and introduction to music of Africa. As well, he founded and directed the West African Drumming Ensemble at BSU for fifteen years. Salil’s interest in world music has taken him to India, Ireland, Africa, and Cuba. He has studied hand percussion (including West African Djembe drumming), the Bodhrán (Irish drum), and Solkattu, the rhythmic system of south India.
Bernhard Bleibinger studied at the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich (Germany) and as exchange student at the University of California Los Angeles (USA). From 2004 until 2007 he conducted research at the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas and taught at the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya in Barcelona (Spain). Since 2007 he has been heading the Music Department of the University of Fort Hare (South Africa). He published on music and symbols in Spain, the history of ethnomusicology, Xhosa music, Applied Ethnomusicology, curriculum development and music of the counter-reformation in Salzburg.
Klaus-Peter Brenner studied ethnomusicology and cultural anthropology at Göttingen University and completed his Ph.D. with a doctoral dissertation on village music from south-west Turkey in 1991. He conducted field research in Turkey in 1984 and 1986, Zimbabwe 1993, and Uganda 1997. Since 1992, he has been curator of the Collection of Musical Instruments and senior lecturer in ethnomusicology and organology at the Department of Musicology, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany, where he also teaches mbira courses. Among his publications is the book Chipendani und Mbira (1997). In 2012 he organized the symposium Mbira Music | Musics. Structures and Processes at the 15th International Conference of the Gesellschaft für Musikforschung, the proceedings of which he is currently preparing.
Gregory Beyer is a Fulbright Scholar and a contemporary music specialist with significant experience in orchestral, jazz, and world music who combines the multiple disciplines of 21st Century percussion into a singular artistic voice. He has given solo performances and masterclasses throughout the world. Beyer is Associate Professor and Head of Percussion Studies at Northern Illinois University, where he directs the Percussion Ensemble (performed at PASIC in 2009 and 2013) and New Music Ensemble. He is also the director of Arcomusical, an organization that creates and promotes contemporary music for tuned gourd-resonated musical bows.
Andile Khumalo completed a MMus at Stuttgart’s State University of Music and Performance and DMus in Composition at New York City’s Columbia State University. He is currently lecturer at the Wits School of Music, University of the Witwatersrand.
Jennifer W. Kyker is assistant professor of ethnomusicology at Eastman School of Music and the University of Rochester’s College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering. She received her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, and has received both Fulbright and Fulbright-Hays fellowships in support of her research. In addition to her scholarship, Jennifer founded the nonprofit organization Tariro, which educates teenaged girls in Zimbabwean communities affected by HIV/AIDS (www.tariro.org). Her recent publications include articles in Ethnomusicology (2013) and Ethnomusicology Forum (2014).
Cara Stacey holds a Masters in Musicology from Edinburgh University and a Masters in Performance from SOAS (U. London) specialising in voice and southern African bow music. She is an ethnomusicology PhD candidate at the University of Cape Town, a member of the APC Research Initiative, and a Commonwealth Scholar.
Jason Finkelman's art focuses on improvised music, cross-cultural collaborative projects, and composition for dance. A Philadelphia-born percussionist specializing in the berimbau, Finkelman performs on African and Brazilian instruments and laptop electronics and founded the ambient, avant world trio Straylight. Collaborative work with choreographer Cynthia Oliver includes BOOM! (2012-15), Rigidigidim de Bamba de: Ruptured Calypso (2009-10) and “Bessie” award winning performances SHEMAD (2000) and Death’s Door (1996). As Director of Global Arts Performance Initiatives at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Finkelman curates music for several University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign programs including the Robert E. Brown Center for World Music.
Tiago de Oliveira Pinto is head of the “Transcultural Music Studies” Chair at the Department of Musicology, University of Music Franz Liszt Weimar, Germany, and Professor of Post-Graduate Studies in Social Anthropology of the University of São Paulo, Brazil.
Mariano Gonzalez is a post-graduate student at the Department of Musicology, University of Music Franz Liszt, Weimar, Germany.
Although musical bows are sadly a disappearing species, nevertheless examples of them are still in use in the great majority of people/language groups in Southern Africa. The bows are deceptively simple instruments, and easily undervalued by outside observers, but nevertheless they have played important roles among the peoples who use them. They have had a powerful influence on the musical techniques of those people – uses of scale, harmony and rhythm. The songs sung with bows are important carriers of traditional heritage. These songs tell of the lives and culture of the peoples, now and in the past, in many ways. They may also carry important insights into the history of the peoples. It is most comforting that steps are being taken to preserve the heritage of Southern African musical bows, at different educational institutions including at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal. The address will illustrate the various points mentioned with examples from different population/language groups in the region.