Mtali Shaka Banda’s hip hop, gospel and neo-soul inflected tenor sax compositions bring a young, activist voice to the genre. With his group, The Oneness Project, he uses the medium of jazz to promote unity while simultaneously reckoning with political events which bring about division and strife. Mtali has toured with the Jeremy Turgeon Quintet, and has shared the stage with Sonia Sanchez, Talib Kweli, The Soul Rebels, and Anik Khan.

Mtali Shaka Banda is a saxophonist currently based in Massachusetts. Having grown up in the midwest and south, and being the son of a Malawian refugee father, and an African-American mother, he was raised on a diverse set of sounds which is no doubt reflected in his music. He has lived a fruitful musical life, and has had the privilege of sharing the stage with Sonia Sanchez, Talib Kweli, The Soul Rebels, Anik Khan, and The.Wav. He toured as the saxophonist for the Jeremy Turgeon Quintet, and was the composer and saxophonist for Mixed-Race Mixtape—a hip-hop theater piece which toured nationally. His musical versatility has brought him all around the world. Just this past year he recorded in Southern Africa and performed with several well-known African artists, including Faith Musa and LAWI. As a first generation Malawian-American, he is a part of the growing Southern African music scene that has embraced jazz and soul music as a means for social change.

In December 2017 Mtali released his debut album as a band leader, “The Oneness Project: Rites of Passage.” The project is a blend of Hip Hop, Jazz, and Soul music aimed at not just creating a sound, but also spreading a meaningful message.

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