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In this episode, Cloud9 interviews Mtali Shaka Banda, a musician, educator and social justice advocate based in Massachusetts. Mtali’s father is a Malawian Christian, and his mother is an African American Baha’i, which launched Mtali on a journey of self discovery at an early age, exploring the intersection of jazz, justice and the African diaspora.

Today, the Mtali Shaka Banda Oneness Project makes uplifting music in a new album called Rites of Passage. Mtali’s unique sound can be heard on the album, which chronicles the complexities of life and reflects the transformative resilience that comes after years of struggle. In Cloud9’s interview, Mtali opens up about his own spiritual journey and how it has impacted his outlook on life and his ambitions as an individual, artist and social justice advocate.

Inspired by his own quest for self discovery and identity, Mtali shares how he has landed in the education system, working with children and youth, teaching music in conjunction with social justice and advocacy.


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  • Phil Morrison
    Aug 20, 2018
    Great interview with Mtali, Shadi! I look forward to hearing more of his music after hearing the snippet that you played! Mtali’s involvement with the education of children is commendable and in keeping with doing work as service to humanity being equated with worship! Thank you for sharing this piece! Phil Morrison
  • Don Boykin
    Jun 23, 2018
    Hi Mtali, please send me your email address, I have some educational material to share with you. Jazz is one of my most favorite forms of music. I have enjoyed it for the past 75 years. Allah'u'abha.
  • Aungthein Tun
    Jun 13, 2018
    good feeling