TIMBILA [tim-BEE-lah] reinvents some of the most beautiful music traditions of southern Africa, with an East Village edge. The band started when Nora Balaban met Banning Eyre and Dirck Westervelt in Harare, Zimbabwe in 1997. Balaban, a veteran of CBGB’s punk and San Francisco’s “worldbeat” scene in the 1980s, was studying mbira (Shona thumb piano) and timbila (Chopi xylophone) with masters. Eyre, a writer and producer for public radio’s Afropop Worldwide, was playing guitar, and Westervelt banjo and bass, with Thomas Mapfumo and the Blacks Unlimited, Zimbabwe’s top traditional pop band. Louisa Bradshaw has been a vocalist with the band through its many incarnations over the past eight years.