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File photo: Notícias
Mozambican music veteran Gabriel Rúben Chiau died on Wednesday afternoon at the Central Hospital in Maputo. The renowned ‘marrabenta’ composer and performer, who leaves a widow and children, had been suffering from diabetes for some time.
Trumpeter, guitarist, singer, songwriter and actor, Gabriel Chiau, known in the artistic world as “the trumpet guru”, an instrument he learned to play under the guidance of maestro Justino Chemane, was an outstanding figure in Mozambican music.
Among his countless hits are ‘Wene Unga Yale’, ‘Mobilidade, ‘Huma Kmpflilu-Mpilu’, ‘A wu ni tendi’ and ‘Nkata Uya Kwini’, which made him famous in the 1960s to 1980s.
Although known as an excellent trumpeter, Gabriel Chiau also played guitar.
Chiau was the founder and head of the Kwekwety ensemble. Initially, it was a group of 20 performaers: three saxophonists, one trumpeter, one lead and one bass guitar, two percussionists and 12 dancers.
Although active for more than half a century, Gabriel Chiau unfortunately left no phonographic record. All of his production consists of tape recordings, made by Radio Mozambique.
Chiau also appeared, playing a foreman, in the movie “Let Me At Least Climb The Palm Trees” [‘Deixem-me ao Menos Subir às Palmeiras’], a film in Xironga shot in 1972 and directed by Joaquim Lopes Barbosa.
Born on November 15, 1930, in the Chamanculo neighbourhood of Maputo, where he always lived, Gabriel Chiau devoted most of his nearly 80 years to music, and was only last week honoured by the Pedagogical University of Maputo.
Source: Rádio Moçambique
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