Zimbabwe’s top Afro-soul musician Tariro neGitare is touring Europe with German band Jamaram as part of a cultural exchange.
Tariro and Jamaram kicked off their tour with a performance in Halver, Germany, last weekend. This coming weekend, the musicians will perform in other Germany cities, namely Isny and Lichtenau. They will end their tour with a performance in Vienna, Austria.
Jamaram is a well-known reggae outfit made up of eight members. The ensemble has been working with Tariro (real name Tariro Chaniwa) since 2013 after a successful collaboration at Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA). The exchange was made possible by the Zimbabwe-German Society and Acoustic Nights.
To date, this joint has seen several artists benefiting through collaborations and hope to continue through the acoustic night. In 2014, Tariro and other Zimbabwean musicians namely Tendai Madzviti, Prayersoul and Munyaradzi Nyamarebvu were in Germany working on an album with the Jamaram Band. Titled Heavy Heavy, the project features 17 songs that are fused with neo soul, reggae with and Afro elements. The album also featured another Zimbabwean artist called Rutendo Machiridza.
Conducting exchanges with the German band has seen Tariro earning respect in her country and abroad thus molding her career. She told Music In Africa: “It’s a relationship I have built with Jamaram that allows us to help each other grow. Jamaram is versatile and working with them is always an experience to learn and to motivate me to do better,” she said.
Since 2013, Tariro developed a cordial relationship with the band’s management, an aspect that has seen her fans and fellow artists benefiting as well. “I also get to work closely with their manager who is ever so ready to share information and opportunities. This obviously improves my craft and gives structure to various other projects that I plan on taking up. A better product in the long run also benefits fans."
A music lover since childhood, Tariro began playing the guitar when she was 13 years old at St. John’s High School, where she was taught by a German Sr. Elizabeth Wedeking. Her love for music prompted her to join jazz maestro Edith WeUtonga and played for other artists including Diana Samkange. Her profile grew when she rubbed shoulders on stage with Zimbabwean artists such as Oliver Mtukudzi, Stella Chiweshe, Jah Prayzah and Victor Kunonga. She even got the opportunity to curtain raise for South African acapella group Ladysmith Black Mambazo at the Spring Strings Festival.
No doubt a creative musician, Tariro is the brains behind an artistic platform called Wildfire Acoustic Nights, a music and poetry event that has been running for the past six years through a partnership between her company Wildfire Africa and the Zimbabwe German Society. In addition, she runs business of art workshops that promote artists to monetize their passion by learning valuable business skills.