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Nyami Nyami unearth lost album from Zimbabwean Jazz band New Tutenkhamen

The 1970’s band, originary of Harare, Zimbabwe, played an eclectic brand of Zimbabwean township music combining traditional rhythms and western influences. Listen to beautiful “Forever together”, from the upcoming album to be released on February 8th.

New Tutenkhamen was formed by several Zimbabwean muscic personalities: Elisha Josamu, Paul Sekerani, Maggie Mbuli and Jethro Shasha, would arguably become the band’s most famous export, making continental waves working with likes of Salif Keita.

I wish you were mine was originally published in 1979, during the liberation war. Combining the heavyweight producing talents of Crispen Matema and the writing chops of Josamu, the New Tutenkhamen band created an album showcasing various musical styles popular at the time, going from afro-jazz to rock ballads and funk.

The band’s most famous release, “Itai Cent Cent” was so popular that after independence (1980), it became the theme song for the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation’s insurance advice programme. However, the growing complexity of the political context had a negative impact on their show’s frequentation, leading members to gradually move on.

I wish you were mine could have faded from memory for good if it was not for Nyami Nyami’s work. Labe lco-founder Charles Houdart, managed to retrieve one of the last copies of the LP with Joyce Jenje Makwenda, the author of “Joburg bound” and among the last survivors of the band.

New Tutenkhamen’s I wish you were mine will be out on Februaty 8th on Nyami Nyami. Pre-order it on Bandcamp.

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