Review of our recent Zimbe! concert, by Tony Tuckwell:

Under James Davy’s compelling direction, Chelmsford Cathedral swayed and clapped along to Alexander L’Estrange’s Zimbe, a vibrant sequence of African and gospel songs, charting a day in the life of an African village. The Chelmsford Singers adapted seamlessly to the mesmerising rhythms. The children of Our Lady Immaculate and The Cathedral Primary schools delivered exquisitely pure playground songs from Ghana and Zimbabwe. The women sang a poignant Xhosa lullaby for apartheid victims. A rousing drinking song with amazing drum riff from Adam Riley of the Call me Al Quintet, Alexander l’Estrange’s own top jazz combo, was juxtaposed to a tear-jerking hymn-like Zulu funeral song. And the pulsating Swahili Njooni! Zimbe! for full ensemble bookended the performance with sensational trumpet playing from Mark Armstrong. The second half featured the Quintet with Joanna Forbes L’Estrange, former Swingles Singer, performing two virtuosic Bach jazz numbers, some beautiful Alexander L’Estrange and Michel Legrand ballads, and the hilarious Alto’s Lament. What a wonderfully joyous evening!

For more information on Zimbe!, see here.