The Northern Illinois University Afropop Ensemble, led by Mathew Tembo, will present a concert at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 9 in the Recital Hall of the Music Building, 300 Lucinda Ave. in DeKalb.
Currently a graduate student at NIU, Tembo is a well-known Afropop musician from Zambia, Central Africa. He takes music straight from the villages of Zambia and blends it with the modern sounds of the NIU Afropop Ensemble to create a truly unique style. Tembo’s handmade silimba (Zambian marimba) and kalimba (thumb piano) provide the backbone for the songs. The ensemble adds texture and depth with keyboards, guitar, bass, horns and percussion.
Tembo has recorded seven CDs and has toured Africa, Europe and the US. He has played with popular world music performers such as 3MA and Oliver Mtukuzi and has also shared a stage with renowned reggae artists such as Michael Rose, Fyahwyah, Pato Banton and Steven Marley. He has created his own genre of music that fuses reggae, jazz and traditional Zambian rhythms.