Mathew Tembo is an award-winning Afro-Pop musician of the highest caliber hailing from Zambia in Southern Africa. He is an important ambassador of Zambian music culture both in Zambia where he is from and abroad. Tembo has toured and recorded all over the world. While touring in Europe, he produced hits including “Nelar” and “Kumalya Ndimu,” both from his second album “Save My Soul” a reggae album which was recorded in the Netherlands in 2001. He was awarded best Afro-fusion for the song “Nandunge” from the album, Anthem, his first album to feature Zambian traditional instruments, at the 2008 Born and Bred Awards in Zambia. Mathew sings mostly in Chinsenga (language of Nsenga people) and Chichewa (music of the Chewa people) and weaves syncopation, repetition, polyrhythm and call-and-response into his music.
He has headlined at festivals such as Millpond 2014 in Bishop, CA, 2014 Umoja Festival in Pittsburgh, PA and the Accacia Festival in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in February 2015. He has shared stages with big acts such as the legendary Oliver Mtukuzi of Zimbabwe, Mulatu Astatke and Mohammed Ahmed both of Ethiopia, 3MA, Michael Rose, Steven Marley, Pato Banton, the Skatalites, Tosh 1, Fyah Wyah, Third World and Dr Kenneth Kaunda, the first president of Zambia. His influences include Thomas Mapfumo and Burning Spear. The 2009 Songlines review by Martin Sinnock referred to him as a worthy successor of both the reggae superstar Lucky Dube and the creator of Chimurenga music Thomas Mapfumo.
Tembo has studied World Music Performance at the renowned School of Music at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL where he graduated in May 2013. He is currently a PhD student at the University of Pittsburgh.
Benjamin Volk on drums
Daniel Nemanic on electric bass
Samuel Lennon Sado on electric guitars
Mathew Tembo on kalimba & vocals
The Show Must Go On(line) is made possible thanks to generous support from the Benter Foundation, The Heinz Endowments, the Juliet Lea Hillman Simonds Foundation, the Opportunity Fund, The Pittsburgh Foundation, and an Anonymous Foundation.