Mwenso and the Shakes are a unique troupe of global artists who present music that merges the highest form of entertainment and artistry while commanding a formidable timeline of jazz and blues expression through African and Afro-American music.
Mwenso & The Shakes gained widespread notice in 2019 with a widely traveled multimedia production created in collaboration with the National Jazz Museum in Harlem that celebrated the cultural movement’s centenary. The show honored the Jazz Age artists who lived and performed in 1920s Harlem, such as Fats Waller, Andy Razaf, and Duke Ellington, while embracing the entire African diaspora.
With a dazzling cast of musicians including South African vocalist Vuyo Sotashe and artists hailing from Europe, Jamaica, Madagascar, and the U.S., the Shakes combine the craft of consummate entertainers with improvisational prowess. The band’s debut album, Emergence (The Process of Coming Into Being), captured the surging energy of the live experience, prompting The New York Times to describe the band as “intense, prowling, and ebullient."
Michael Mwenso is a bandleader, co-founder of Electric Root, EMMY Award winning creator, curator and creative artist.