New African Brew - a Summer Single
Born in Guinea, West Africa to a family of Artists, Kunbi Shabu began her artistic career at the age of 5. She grew up in Liberia West Africa where she was exposed to deeply intricate expressions of rhythm, and song. When Kunbi’s mother Maisha Shabu saw her aptitude for melodic instruments, particularly Keyboards and Mallet instruments, Kunbi quickly became a stand in musician for her mother‘s music projects. Kunbi along with her other siblings eventually became her mother’s band “Ngoma Sasa”, Performing regularly at many venues in Liberia West Africa and backing such artists as Miriam Makeba, Nayanka Bell, and many more.
Upon moving to the USA in 1985, Kunbi expanded into the world of African Dance, sharing her understanding of African Dance from a Guinean/Liberian lense with dance companies including the Marie Brooks Dance Theatre. She continued her study of mallet and percussion instruments with jazz Vibist Jay Hoggard, Marimbist/percussionist Valerie Naranjo, and Balan Master Abou Sylla. Kunbi has performed with The African American Dance Ensemble and Kimati Dinizulu to name a few. This foray into African Dance laid the foundation for how Kunbi plays, and engages with musical instruments today.
Kunbi is an accomplished musician and dancer, enjoying such instruments as Balafon,Ngoni,Dundun and is know for adding some choreography into a musical piece onstage bringin a flavorful and unexpected element to her performances. She has toured and performed with musical artists and dance companies in NYC, North Carolina, and abroad.
Kunbi Lives in North Carolina where she teaches music and Healing Movement with BUMP the Triangle, an organization focusing on Music Enrichment for African diasporic youth. She is also a lead choreographer and co musical director for The Magic of African Rhythm, her family’s African Cultural performing arts company. Not excluding her work as a natural hair stylist at at Taji Salon Durham, Kunbi is currently recording a new album which will include many of the melodic and percussion instruments she plays.
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