Dec 15 2023


7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Kevin Spears, the “Kalimba Man”

Join us on Friday, December 15, at 7:30 p.m. for a performance by Kevin Spears, aka the Kalimba Man. Suggested donation: $10-$30.

Hailed by many as one of the best kalimba players alive today, musical renegade Kevin Spears the ” KalimbaMan ” has astounded audiences far and wide reimaging what is possible on this traditional African folk instrument. 

As a young and quiet son, Kevin began applying his musical abilities and heart expression to speak through the kalimba a range of emotions, dreams and visions he found difficult to verbally communicate as a child. Over time the kalimba became his loyal companion and refuge,  giving him the ability to communicate through this unlikely instrument in a highly expressive and unique way and  unbeknownst to him becoming a virtuoso player in the process.

In addition, with Kevin’s lifelong fascination with electronics and  Sci-fi, it was pre-destined that he would  incorporate these passions in an Afrofuturistic way to create the vision  and infinite possibilities that he long-imagined  for the kalimba. 

It is from this background that Spears masterfully utilizes human ingenuity and technology to weave horns, bass, violins, synths, drums and world percussion to literally create an instant one-man folk-world-funk band that will leave you spellbound and dancing all the same.

Kevin’s broad musical influences include artists such as Maurice White, Marcus Miller, Zakir Hussein, BeBe & Cece Winans, Yolanda Adams, Paco De Lucia, Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Toumani Diabate, Ba Cissoko, George Benson, Jean-Luc Ponty, Yanni, James Brown, Piano Guys, Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Bobby McFerrin among many others.

Spears has work with and/or opened for Grammy-award and world-class artists such as: Victor Wooten, Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Murat Tekbilek, Col. Bruce Hampton, Count Mbutu -(Derek Trucks Band), Rising Appalachia, Karen Briggs-(Yanni), Roy “FutureMan” Wooten, Jill Scott, Eric Benet, Arrested Development, Sam Sims-(Michael and Janet Jackson), Divinity -( Beyonce) and was the featured performer for the Earth, Wind & Fire Reunion concert tribute to Maurice White.  

In addition to being a gifted musical artist, instrument builder, lecturer and clinician, Spears has been featured at prestigious events and festivals around the world including TED-X, Musikmesse- Frankfurt Germany, Music China-Shanghai, The NAMM Show -Anaheim CA, The LEAF Festival, Goombay Cultural Festival, Asheville Percussion Festival, DrumStrong Festival, Jazz Funk Africa Festival -(Yokohama Japan) and more.

The event is finished.

Mayani is a Maasai boy from longido Arusha. He went to boarding school at 6 years old and lost his Maasai language and tradition. Since joining the LEAF program, he has learned to sing Maasai songs, practiced the ‘jump’ tradition and wear Maasai shukas (traditional clothing). Mayani is extremely happy and is currently teaching other youth the culture.