Jason Ennis


The word “mukana” (moo-kah-nah) in the Shona language means “opportunity.” A couple of years ago, I saw a wonderful opportunity to form a new band with a diverse group of world-class musicians based in the Western Mass/Southern VT region, with whom I had been collaborating in different projects. The eight musicians who came together to form Mukana have since worked to develop a unique sound, fusing Zimbabwean, Haitian, Chilean and other Latin American traditions, topped off with some fiery jazz improvisation. Since its inception, this band has experienced green card delays, the birth of three babies to band members, and, of course, a pandemic. Now ready to go live, the band consists of:

– Zimbabwean singer/songwriter/Multi-instrumentalist Tendai Muparutsa (Artist in Residence in African Music Performance at Williams College)
– Chilen singer/songwriter Natalia Bernal
– Haitian singer Nadine Niles (of the powerhouse Haitian roots band Lakou Mizik)
– Guitarist/musical director Jason Ennis
– Saxophonist/arranger Michael Zsoldos
– Trombonist John Wheeler
– NYC-based Brazilian bassist Itaiguara Brandão
– Drummer Conor Meehan