Music Crossroads Zambia (MCZAM) was established in 2003 and is thus the youngest of the five Music Crossroads member countries. In the past four years the program has achieved a surprising amount given Zambia’s underdeveloped music industry, which still lacks infrastructure, musical professionalism and means for young musicians to access musical instruments. In spite of these disadvantages, the situation in Zambia is seeing change, largely due to the Music Crossroads program, which has facilitated the creation of a number of new bands, an increase in the amount of young people playing instruments, and growth in both the confidence of solo artists and the inspiration to develop their visions and understanding of the music industry.
Music Crossroads Zambia is at the forefront of the program's women’s empowerment drive, with a majority of female musicians playing musical instruments as opposed to only singing or dancing; and with a number of girls having taken up the challenge as band leaders. Prominent among these bands are the Rare Roses, Emaks and 2007 national festival winners’ I & I, who have all gone on to perform at Music Crossroads InterRegional Festivals.
Many MCZAM bands have been invited to perform at various festivals and functions in Tanzania and Zimbabwe but the spotlight has recently been on Sunga Umukoshi, an eight piece band who took 2nd place at the 2007 IRF in Harare and have recently returned from their winners' tour; an overwhelmingly successful three week tour of Sweden.
Many past participants of the MCZAM program have made the “big time”, most recently Alice of the Emaks group has been dominating the Zambian airwaves with her debut solo album Okondewa. On an international level, Theo, member of the 2005 MCZAM National Festival winning group Sheba and Friends, returned from the IRF in Maputo to take first place in Celtel’s “Star Search” music competition; winning a recording contract in New York, USA. He is soon to release his debut album Brooklyn 11 AM in the States as well as Europe and is making waves on the Zambian music scene.