Mathew Tembo on coming home

MATHEW continues to play with a band in the United States where he is currently pursuing his PHD in Music Culture at the University of Pittsburg.

WHEN Mathew Tembo left Zambia for the United States, he had a Diploma in Music and was fairly well respected in music circles. But he got quite some jolt when he just arrived there.
“When I moved to the United States eight years ago, the school where I went to study [Northern Illinois University] had a big Jazz programme, so when they asked me about jazz and who my favourite jazz artist was, I mentioned Kenny G and everyone in the room laughed at me, it was embarrassing, I thought that was jazz but to them it was not,” Mathew says.
“[The] Understanding of jazz here [in Zambia] is quite different from the way people understand it in the US, we don’t have a jazz culture here in Zambia, and people do not know what it is. I used to think Kenny G is a jazz musician, I only knew that day that what he performs is not jazz if you go with jazz standards in the US.
“My definition of jazz music changed. The two years I spent at Northern Illinois University I listened to a lot of jazz music and it opened my mind about what it is. Now I know what defines jazz music.”
Mathew is currently in the country, like he does every year. This time, he is also launching his new album titled Konkha.http://epaper.daily-mail.co.zm/

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