Amayenge Band Biography

Amayenge is a popular Zambian music
group. Started by Kris Chali in 1978 in Choma, the band was originally
called Crossbones, one of many Zambian acts that had spring up to do
gigs based on Rock. Later the band became known as the New Crossbones,
after a change in direction, sponsorship and
amangement. The musical
style of the group is called kalindula,
a distinctive Zambian popular style with traditional African roots.
Chali died 30 May 2003, but the band has continued with Fraser Chilembo
as their leader. Amayenge has received worldwide attention from WOMAD in
London to Asia and the Americas. In the words of one author:

The band has continued to perform in Zambia and other southern
African countries. Their membership has changed somewhat in recent years
but news reports from the Times of Zambia, Zambian Post and Zambia
Daily Mail routinely report their activities. A recent report is typical
of news accounts of the band:

Kalindula
is a Zambian musical style that was originally played on “banjos”
(pronounced ‘bahn-jos’), a 4-stringed bass (called ‘mbabadoni’ or
‘kalindula’), [ngoma] drums, chisekele shakers and metal bells. Western
guitars and percussion have replaced the homemade banjos and drum sets
used previously

Current Band Members: Alice Chali (Dancer/Vocalist, Obert Chali
(Vocalist/Dancer), Emmanuel Kayeji (Dancer/Vocalist), Bester Mudenda
(Dancer/Vocalist), Jonathan Nthanga (Lead Guitar), Mathews Mulenga
(Rhythm Guitar), Joseph Mwamba (Drums), Davy Muthali (Percussionist),
Chabala Chitambo (Percussionist), Donald Njovu (Percussionist), Eddy
Moto (Sound Engineer), Sam Chiluba (Bass)

Fraser Chilembo – Band Manager

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US Tour

In
1996, Amayenge traveled to Whidbey Island, WA, where they met up with
Moye Kashimbi, who had left Zambia to marry US citizen, Vernon Huffman,
who became Tour Director for Amayenge. The band was enthusiastically
received by audiences across the Pacific Northwest.