Zawose Family

Tanzania

Dressed in costumes made from goatskins and porcupine quills, with ostrich feathered headdresses, the idiosyncratic Zawoses have been a celebrated and indelible feature of the world music line-up since the early 1990s.

They are returning to WOMAD after what has been a difficult few years with the unexpected death's of father Hukwe and his traveling partner and nephew, Charles - Wagogo music's revered master musicians. While leaving the family in a state of shock it also left their many fans across the world saddened.

Originally recognized by Tanzania's President Julius Nyerere as he drove through a village in the Wagogo, Hukwe's music and performance took on its own momentum as Tanzania's most extraordinary performing dynasty the world over. After producing several albums in the UK and Japan, Hukwe's music reached new heights when he supported Peter Gabriel on his Growing Up Tour in 2003.

Hukwe ensured that the unique and intrinsic sounds of the Wagogo would never die and his huge family now live together teaching the younger generations, and the many visitors who come to them having witnessed one of Hukwe's many unforgettable performances.

The family are at WOMAD celebrating the musical legacy left to them by Hukwe and Charles. Their signature voices encompass the high-octave vocal range; singing that switches between falsetto and deep guttural sounds. This unique singing combined with Wagogo fire dancing and the intense sounds of thumb pianos, African violins, ankle bells and drums provides and magical representation of Wagogo music with which Hukwe both charmed and fascinated audiences across the world.