Madalitso Band + Tony Vacca



The Drake (44 N Pleasant St, Amherst MA)

6pm Doors, 7PM Performance



What do you get when you mix a home-made one-string slide bass (Babatone), a cow-skin foot drum, thumped with your heel while strumming a 4 string guitar and two harmonious voices? The joyful upbeat traditional folk music of Yobu Maligwa and Yosefe Kalekeni; The Madalitso Band from Malawi. Madalitso will make you clap, dance, smile, and rethink everything you thought you knew about African sound and instrumentation.The duo was originally discovered busking outside a shopping mall in Lilongwe in 2009. Their locally known ‘Banjo music’ became popular in Malawi and has only recently been catapulted onto the international stage.

Until February 2017, the band from Mtandire slum in Lilongwe was just one of the numerous street performers in the city. The troubadours survived hand to mouth, busking on different street corners in Lilongwe until an opportunity came knocking to perform at one of the biggest music festivals in Africa, the Sauti za Busara. The decade spent roaming the streets as a pair, and perfecting their home-made instruments and vibrant playing style, seems to have paid off – since that first performance on an international stage in Zanzibar 5 years ago, the rollercoaster ride hasn't stopped!

Currently on their fifth European tour, with shows at Roskilde, WOMAD, Fest Des Suds, and over a hundred other performances across Europe and Africa, 2022 sets the stage for their first performances in the USA including a stop at The Drake in Amherst!

They released a new album this summer called Musakayike and a documentary on the duo is in the works.