Connecting Cultures and Community Through Music

Courtesy photo--Zimbabwean musician Piwai and her African thump piano, the mbira, will entertain audiences at the music event Friday, May 6, on Park Street.

Connecting Cultures and Community Through Music

Get ready for a sonic journey on Park Street this Friday night, May 6 from 5 to 8 p.m. featuring Zimbabwean mbira, Puerto Rican plena, Detroit blues, American Tribal Belly Dance and string students from Alameda.

This free Art Walk is presented by Rhythmix Cultural Works in partnership with the City of Alameda and the Downtown Alameda Business Association. There will be live music at four locations along Park Street.

Acclaimed musician Piwai will be one of the featured performers at the event. Fondly known as the girl with the African thumb piano, the mbira, Piwai has wowed audiences across the globe with her soulful voice and genre fusing melodies. Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Piwai’s love of music is influenced by her multicultural Southern Africa and gospel exposure in early childhood. At 19, Piwai left medical school in her native Zimbabwe to pursue a path as a biologist in the U.S. However, the pull for music proved far too great during her studies.

Other performers at the event include La Mixta Criolla, Jake Sampson and the Bay Area Music Project, with dance performances by Sandi & Yuka, each group presents a mix of styles, combining traditional and modern elements with a unique Bay Area twist.

Become spellbound in front of Karibu Lounge, with Piwai’s captivating vocals and hypnotic sound, as she bends genres, seamlessly flowing from jazz, reggae and folk to pure African rhythms. Dance your way down Alameda Avenue with La Mixta Criolla, specializing in original and funky renditions of swinging Caribbean grooves and traditional tunes including plena, bomba, aguinaldo, merengue, cumbia and salsa. Revel in Sandi & Yuka’s rhythmically driven hip isolations, arm undulations and shimmies. Sit back and chill in the Daisy’s parklet with Jake Sampson and Matt Baxter’s Detroit-based blend of Motown, jazz, R&B, blues and soul. Support the Bay Area Music Project as the Advanced String Ensemble (grades 3 to 5) shows their skills on violin and cello in front of Twirl.

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