Thursday, September 8, 2016

Recording: Nhapitapi

Artist: Nhapitapi

Song: unknown*

Recorded at Artscape Gibraltar Point (Camp Wavelength), August 20, 2016.

Nhapitapi - unknown

Following and expanding on the template of last year's successful festival, Wavelength returned to the island with a meticulously-executed event that included an exciting range of music and a beach full of art beside festival headliner Lake Ontario. It also managed to be a stress-reducing rather than a stress-inducing time — rather like a weekend at the cottage, even if the city was just out of view. After the rock'n'roll headliner, there was the equivalent of a whole 'nother show in a quartet of late night sets for festival campers or anyone willing to stay late for the specially-chartered late-night ferry. (Once again, that service went off without a hitch, which by now has mostly obviated my grim memories of some of the awkward early attempts that had been made at such an offering.)

Local Zimbabwean groove purveyors Nhapitapi lead off the late-night portion to great effect, with organic dance grooves that gave the crowd a shot of joyful energy. Working on a much bigger scale than their humble origins, the band now features Moyo Mutamba Rainos as its energetic frontman, engaging the crowd between songs and grooving even while throwing down intricate mbira lines. One of the best sets of the weekend, it's hard to contain this kind of music in a half-hour "festival" set — it felt like they were well and truly warmed up by the time they had to clear the stage.

[Nhapitapi will be playing the 7th Annual Toronto Bicycle Music Festival, this Saturday afternoon (September 10th) at Prairie Drive Park. You can participate in the group bike ride to the show from the Brick Works, or the park is also a short walk from Vic Park subway. This is a free, outdoor, family-friendly event!]

* Does anyone know the title to this one? Please leave a comment!

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