In 2006, afro-fusion band Liyana from Zimbabwe won the Crossroads Africa Inter-regional Music Festival in Mozambique. They went on to tour Sweden, The Netherlands, and Belgium. And now they\'ve just kicked off the second leg of their first US trek, which has been quite succesful so far.
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Liyana, meaning \"it is raining\" in the Ndebele language, is extraordinary not only because of their remarkable talent, but also due to the fact that each of them was born with severe physical disabilities.
All self taught musicians, the band members met as students at King George VI School in Zimbabwe, where disabled children and their families are historically shunned because of widespread misconceptions about perceived connections between disability and witchcraft.
The line-up includes Energy Maburutse on first marimba, Honest Mupatse on tenor marimba, Vusani Vuma on bass marimba, and Goodwell Nzou on traditional drums and percussion.
Liyana’s first-ever American tour has already included performances at the NAMM Show in January 2009, and now continues on the East Coast.
Liyana is also the subject of a new documentary, iTemba (My Hope). Directed by Roger Ross Williams, to be released, worldwide, late in 2009.