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Where it all began

Fondly known as the girl with the African thumb piano, the mbira, Piwai wows audiences across the globe with her soulful voice and genre fusing melodies. Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Piwai’s love of music is influenced by her multicultural Southern Africa and gospel exposure in early childhood.

At age 10 she joined the church choir and by 13 she was writing and performing her own songs.  At 19 Piwai left medical school in her native Zimbabwe to pursue a path as a biologist In the US. Although, the pull for music proved far too great during her studies.

“Music is the sum total of my very existence and every action I make manifests in music—the rhythm of my life.”

During and after college years Piwai trained as a jazz vocalist at the Jazz School of Berkeley, studying with world renowned vocalists and instructors such as Vernon Bush, Raz Kennedy, Maye Cavallaro and Frankye Kelly. Piwai went under the tutelage of maestros and renowned percussionist, Yagbe Onilu and conguero, Butch Haynes.