PRINCETON — For the past four years, Prairie Arts Council has sponsored a summer outdoor concert at the Soldiers and Sailors Park and has brought a variety of entertainment for your musical enjoyment. This year they will bring Mathew Tembo, an award-winning Afro-pop and reggae musician hailing from Zambia, Southern Africa. He is an important ambassador of Zambian music culture both in America, where he resides now, and abroad.
Originally a reggae singer only, Tembo was approached while giving a presentation at the Rhythmic Conservatory in Copenhagen, Denmark, by one of the professors there. He was asked why he played reggae and not African music since he was from Africa. Upon returning home from that European tour in 2004, Tembo began a self-taught exploration of traditional African instruments such as the silimba and kalumbu. He now incorporates the use of these instruments into his original compositions.
Tembo studied music education at Evelyn Hone College of Applied Arts and Commerce in Zambia majoring in classical piano and later studied primary education with a concentration in music at the University of Zambia. He continues his quest for higher education in DeKalb, at the renowned school of music at Northern Illinois University where he is wrapping up his graduate degree in world music performance.
This summer concert is scheduled for 6 p.m. Aug. 25. Concert-goers should bring lawn chairs or blankets. Refreshments will be available during the concert. This concert is free to the public and is funded in part by a grant from the Illinois Valley Fine Arts Trust.