After taking his new album Calabrash Breath to a diverse Malawi audience, Wambali Mkandawire says he is ready to take the album to the international stage.
Speaking in an exclusive interview after a great reception of Calabrash Breath on Saturday night, Wambali said his manager has already started talking to organisers of various jazz circuits.
The album, released on Friday before its Saturday launch at Bingu International Conference Centre in Lilongwe, was warmly received with some jazz lovers describing it as beautifully crafted and delivered.
But Wambali remains unsure about coming out of retirement and taking his performances across the country saying it was up to Malawians to coerce him.
“But I do believe that even outside the country those who have listened to the album say they love the album very much and my manager is already starting to speak to people in different jazz circuits so I wouldn’t be surprised if we start going abroad,” he said.
He added that much as he felt he should do more at home, there were a lot of things required for him to perform at his best.
Wambali last performed commercially in 2012 at the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz concert where he curtainraised for South African artist Zahara.
He said he has introduced the product to the market and it was up to the people to decide if he should continue on this path.
“You can’t impose a product on people. We’ve presented a product tonight and it is the people who must decide. If they go to sleep then we all go to sleep and we will be listening to the CD in our cars. But people who came to the concert can gather together and get a concert going,” Wambali said.
Wambali, whose past albums had spiritual undertones, has described the jazz album as a worship to God with musical instruments alone.
Wambali is a Kora award and South African Music Awards nominee with nine albums to his name among them Moto and Zani Muwone, which received massive acclaim outside the borders of Malawi.
Wambali has previously delved into jazz with his band Ma Nyasa, which came up with the compilation Up and Down the Shire several years ago, which brought together Wambali, Collen Matola, Lemekeza Phiri, Vita Chirwa and Dan Sibale, among others.