Albino Mbie Project
Albino Mbie was born in Maputo, the capital of Mozambique, a country in southern Africa known for its rich musical and cultural heritage. Fueled by the resourcefulness and determination that have always characterized Mozambicans, he built his first guitar at 16 from a 5-liter can of oil, scrap wood, and strings made out of electrical cords.
Drawn to the sounds of neighborhood street musicians in Maputo, Mbie began to play in a number of local bands. As with his homemade guitar, he wanted to combine styles and incorporate diverse elements in his music. For his talents to grow, he knew he needed experience new places, cultures, and sounds.
While studying music education and performance at Universidade Eduardo Mondlane in Mozambique, he heard about Berklee, where he could expand his musical horizons. Soon after, he was one of the first students to receive a full scholarship to Berklee through the African Scholars program. In 2009, he settled in Boston, Massachusetts.
At Berklee, he was exposed to a variety of influences, but wanted to go deeper into the roots of jazz and expand his knowledge of music. He auditioned and was selected to participate in the Berklee Global Jazz Institute, which is directed by Danilo Pérez and the residency teachers, including Joe Lovano, John Patitucci, and Terri Lyne Carrington. The institute emphasizes an artist's original vision in jazz and has helped him find his own unique voice in the art form.
Mbie still felt the absence of his own Mozambican traditions in his music. With the help of his mentors, Richard Bona and Lionel Loueke, two of the most prominent African musicians in the U.S. today, he began to bridge that gap.
Today, his music succeeds in combining many disparate parts into an organic whole. It incorporates his musical experiences from Mozambique, the U.S., and many other places around the world, combining rhythmic patterns and musical concepts to create a unique Moz-jazz sound. He will always continue to combine and capture the energies of different musical traditions to create a unified and original musical style.
Mbie's original composition "Mozambique Dance" was recorded by Jazz Revelation Records, a student-run record label at Berklee, for the 8th annual album released in 2011. He also recorded "Awusiwana," his own composition, for the Berklee 2012 summer album. His debut album, also called Mozambique Dance, is to be released in spring 2013.
Mbie is an active musician and has performed in several countries, including Mozambique, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Italy, the U.S., and Mexico. He has also produced and recorded various projects in Mozambique and in the United States. In 2012, he will graduate from Berklee College of Music with a degree in music production and engineering and performance, as well as a minor in acoustics and electronics.