Albino Mbie is a multi-award-winning musician, guitarist, singer, composer, and sound and mixing engineer 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, Albino began to play in a number of local bands. As with his home-made guitar, Albino wanted to combine styles and incorporate diverse elements in his music. For his talents to grow, he knew he needed to experience new places, cultures, and sounds.
While studying Music Education and Performance at Universidade Eduardo Mondlane in Mozambique, he heard about the Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA, where he could expand his musical horizons. Mbie became 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 Perez 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 Mbie find his own unique voice in the art form.
However Albino still felt the absence of his own Mozambican and African traditions in his music. With the help of his mentors, Richard Bona and Lionel Loueke – two of the most prominent African musicians in the United States of America today – he has begun to bridge that gap.