Oliver Mtukudzi & The Black Spirits

In the beginning

Oliver’s musical career started at the age of 23 with the 1975 release of his debut single, Stop After Orange. He only went professional two years later in 1977 teaming up with Thomas Mapfumo at the famous Wagon Wheels Band and recording Dzandimomotera which was inspired directly by Zimbabwe’s 1970s war of liberation. The song depicted the black man’s life struggles under the minority white settler regime.

In 1979 Oliver left Wagon Wheels to launch a solo career and forming his own band The Black Spirits – a group of rag-tag young stylish ghetto boys who were to become a sure force on the music scene, progressing into a household name in the ensuing years.

Oliver recalls: “When we left the Wagon Wheels, we thought we would continue using the same name (Wagon Wheels) but the management we had left behind put together another band which they called by the same name. Naturally we thought the continued use of the name would confuse people and we came up with our own name, The Black Spirits.”

In terms of lyrical composition, in the period leading to Zimbabwe’s 1980 independence, Oliver’s music was a mix of the revolutionary jam songs with undertones targeting the repressive Rhodesian regime. Yet he also composed the day-to-day social context music about life and the essence of ubantu (humanity).

Hennessey Bonfire

Hennessey Bonfire is the world pop project of songwriter and percussionist Shawn Hennessey (Leana Song). Their debut "Let's Get Carried Away" is a prophetic melting-pot of honest songs, world percussion, luscious harmonies and gang vocals. Shawn played and recorded most of the instruments himself, in various lofts and studios from 2008-2012. The tunes are both epic and personal; simple and deep; contemplative and full of love. The band features both ancient and futurist sounds and instrumentation with Dijon (tabla), Wesley rast (cajon drumset), Elliot Garland (Electric bass), Gina Ferrera (TrapKatControllerist) and Shawn Hennessey (nylon guitar). Rooted in African, Mediterranean, Cuban, and Indian grooves, HENNESSEY BONFIRE delivers intimate performances of lush organic music, while keeping songwriting and soulful delivery at the helm. -

$15

Tickets

$15 Advance / $20 Day of Show

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The Ardmore Music Hall

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Oliver Mtukudzi & The Black Spirits with Hennessey Bonfire

Friday, January 17 · Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM at The Ardmore Music Hall