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Oliver Mtukudzi

Photo by Liam Lynch

Oliver Mtukudzi

Oliver Mtukudzi & the Black Spirits 

When: Fri., Jan. 18, 8 p.m. 2013
Price: $10-32
www.dukeperformances.org

The story of 60-year-old bandleader Oliver Mtukudzi is very much the story of Zimbabwe, a land that, at his birth, was under British control. A teenager when the country declared its independence and a musician several albums into his career when that decree was finally recognized, Mtukudzi emerged as one of the country's biggest and most consistent pop stars. In large part, his appeal stems from the combined weight and lilt of his voice; while his singing fits well within the nimble rhythms behind him, there's a hardened resolve to his baritone, a safeguard against stylistic foppishness. His quick guitar cuts add flair, too; while on tour, his longtime band, The Black Spirits, add the force. —Grayson Currin

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