Tuku Music

May 24, 2017 - Comment

Tuku MusicWhile Oliver Mtukudzi–also know as Tuku–has always been revered in his home of Zimbabwe, he has been overshadowed in the American “world music” scene by revolutionary poet Thomas Mapfumo and the pop-party Bhundu Boys. His music is more romantic and bluesy than Mapfumo’s, focusing on the grit of life rather than the broader cosmology.

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Tuku MusicWhile Oliver Mtukudzi–also know as Tuku–has always been revered in his home of Zimbabwe, he has been overshadowed in the American “world music” scene by revolutionary poet Thomas Mapfumo and the pop-party Bhundu Boys. His music is more romantic and bluesy than Mapfumo’s, focusing on the grit of life rather than the broader cosmology. He’s Ray Charles and Otis Redding to Mapfumo’s Bob Marley and Bob Dylan. His voice is gruff but sweet; it implores rather than demands. The music that he creates to carry a song is often light as air, creating a beautiful tension between content and container. Mtukudzi’s music has appeared on many compilations over the years, but this is the first full album of Tuku’s music to be released in the U.S. It’s a gem, with its shimmering guitars; its gentle, insistent bass lines; and a voice that will charm and challenge the listener. –Louis Gibson

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