Chartwell’s Music


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Denise and Ceceilia live on stage at Shambala Festival

Chartwell is well known for his charismatic performances and infectious music. Whether as a singer or instrumentalist, he excels at bringing European audiences together in their enjoyment of traditional Shona music.

"More to the point, this set of songs makes no nods to keyboard electronics, studio-generated beats, rapping, nor any of the hot trends of youth music in Africa. It honors a more classic era of tradition-based Zim-pop, and does so with the benefit of hindsight, excellent recording technology, and the guidance of a seasoned veteran of great and natural musicality. For fans of golden-era Afropop, this one’s a real find." Review of Dendere Ngoma [Music Nest]. Banning Eyre for

Chartwell is recognised as a world-class soloist. He is a WOMAD Foundation recommended artist, performed at 'Live Aid: Africa Calling', and has composed and performed for the Royal Shakespeare Company’s award-winning ‘Breakfast with Mugabe’.

In addition to his work as a solo artist, Chartwell has collaborated on a diverse range of projects. As part of the UNHCR’s 50th anniversary celebrations he worked with refugees from across Africa, and most recently has composed and performed with the west-country-based Serenoa String Quartet.

Chartwell is interested in new fusion and collaboration projects. He is also available to perform at concerts and events solo, as a trio (with a second mbira and guitar), and with the band Spirit Talk Mbira. To discuss ideas and negotiate rates, please contact Chartwell.

Spirit Talk Mbira

Spirit Talk Mbira is a multi-national dance band incorporating the sounds of mbira and featuring musicians from Europe and Zimbabwe. Their music takes traditional mbira and Shona folk songs into a new dimension, adapting them onto guitar, bass, and horns, but always staying rooted in the mbira tradition. This is both music to dance to and music for reflection – high energy and deep spirit.

"Spirit Talk Mbira assert themselves with a spirit and confidence that many Zimbabwean bands would do well to emulate" Songlines

Spirit Talk Mbira can provide a vibrant addition to your concert, festival, wedding or corporate event. Rates dependent on number of musicians, for more details contact Chartwell.

Spirit Talk Mbira is Chartwell plus Christopher Morphitis, Laurence Corns, Max de Wardener, Tom Skinner, Denise Rowe, Cecilia Ndlovu.

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What they're saying about Chartwell

Chartwell has a unique ability to engage with children. The two mixed age groups he worked with were totally absorbed in all he said and the music and dance they produced were great. A brilliant morning

Liz Plater, Deputy Head, Taverham High, Norfolk