TIMBILA is part of a new wave of world rock bands creating music without borders. In their tropical sound, the beautiful buzzing of the Mozambican xylophone (Timbila) and the hypnotic dream melodies of the Zimbabwean thumb piano (Mbira) become one with stinging guitar in grooves that are funky and danceable. Sweet feminine vocals are harmonized in English, Shona and Chopi. TIMBILA has performed at weddings, Universities, school events, outdoor festivals, private galas, corporate dinners, trade shows, art galleries and nightclubs. The Band's size and instrumentation can be modified to perfectly match your entertainment needs, perfect for adding a totally original sonic element to any gathering or event. We can provide acoustic background music up to a full on dance band including high energy African dancing!
TIMBILA started when Nora Balaban met Banning Eyre in Harare, Zimbabwe in 1998. Balaban was in Africa studying mbira and timbila with masters—Tute Chibamba in Zimbabwe, and Venancio Mbande in Mozambique. Eyre, a writer and radio producer with public radio’s Afropop Worldwide, was playing guitar with Thomas Mapfumo and the Blacks Unlimited, Zimbabwe’s top traditional pop band. Back in New York, Balaban’s and Eyre’s collaboration evolved into a versatile, 5-piece band, with the addition of Dirck Westervelt on bass, Ed Klinger on drums, and vocalist Louisa Bradshaw, who harmonizes with Balaban to create a signature sound. From the start it was clear. No other band sounds like Timbila.
Timbila can perform in many different configurations: Solo mbira (thumb piano), Acoustic Mbira Duo (with vocals), Mbira/Guitar Duo, Trio (with hand percussion), or Quartet (with percussion,bass & vocals), Full 5-piece Timbila/Mbira Band. In addition, the group works with two extraordinary African dancers led by Shea Ryan who has choreographed totally original, high energy moves to fit the band’s repertoire—the perfect movement foil for Timbila’s one-of-a-kind sonic blast.
Nora Balaban (timbila, mbira, vocals),
Banning Eyre (guitars),
Louisa Bradshaw (vocals),
Dirck Westervelt (bass),
Ed Klinger (drums, vocals),
Shea Lee Ryan (dancer)