Gimo Mendes real name: Abdul Remane Mendes was born in 1955 in Mossuril in the Mozambican province of Nampula, but he lived on the island Ilha de Mozambique. There, he was influenced by the music of many diverse rhythms resulting from the cultures of different peoples who, through centuries, came to this island.
Mozambique Island is a tiny island, just off the coast of Natala province, which, because of its location, was for centuries, a strategical gate to the backcountry and a way to the Indian Ocean. The Island used to be the capital of the country and the most important point of transit and commerce for the Arabs, Persians, Indians, Chinese and Portuguese who, years later, colonized the territory. The country was called Mozambique after the name of a sultan.
Gimo Mendes grew up in a mixed context of several cultures and histories, with a rich beautiful nature as a background. Quite early he began to show his musical talent, playing and working with traditional groups from different barrios of the Island. Since 1974, inspired by the spirit of the Mozambican revolution he has been composing music and songs in his mother tongue as a protest against the Portuguese authorities. He did what at that time was forbidden, to sing in macua language. Gimo Mendes was one of the first to compose and play in the macua tradition.
A convinced and determined musician, Gimo Mendes founded in 1983 the well known group Eyuphuro, together with Salvador Mauricio, Zena Bacar, Chico Ventura, Mussa Abdala, Belarmino Godeiros, Mario Fernandes and Omar Issa. They were inspired by different traditional rhythms of Mozambique Island and used classic guitar and local percussion as working instruments. Thus they have enriched Mozambican music with a unique characteristic style from that part of the country.
Their hard work and dedication were recognized on different stages around the world where Gimo Mendes and the “guys of percussion” conquered an unquestionable admiration and respect. As a group, Eyuphuro has been honoured with several awards and has recorded at Real World Records in collaboration with the well known artist Peter Gabriel
Gimo Mendes is continuing his carreer in Denmark. He has a group called ‘Gimo Mendes’ and he teaches music at the World Music Center of the School of Music in the city Aarhus, where he lives with his family.