Enduring Rhythms ~ Gathering in Harmony
Zimfest 2015 was held August 13-16 at Western Oregon University in Monmouth. The WOU campus, just west of Salem, provided an attractive and comfortable site for our 24th Zimfest in North America. We were happy to return the festival to Oregon, in a location nearly equidistant from Portland and Eugene. The Monmouth area, in the heart of Oregon’s wine country, is also a great point of departure for day trips exploring the beautiful Willamette Valley or heading west to the Oregon coast.
We have completed integrating this beautiful new website with the registration system allowing you to sign up for workshops, room and board and Zimfest concert tickets.
- Master mbira players Patience Munjeri, Vitalis Botsa, Chaka Mhembere
- Marimba specialist Patience Musandirire
- Multi-instrumentalist Kurai Blessings Mubaiwa
- The electric duo Mbira Spirit
- Versatile dancer Rujeko Dumbutshena
- Guitarist extraordinaire Zivanai Masango
North American Performers:
- Anzanga Marimba Ensemble
- Erica Azim
- Chris Berry
- Boka Marimba
- Mahonyera Mbira Ensemble
- Pachi Pamwe (mbira & guitar)
- And many more
The Thursday evening concert and Zimfest opening ceremony were held at the outdoor stage in The Grove, the shady field just west of the Werner University Center (WUC). Ticketed evening concerts were held in the Pacific Room in the WUC, with the Zimfest registration area and hub for festival activities in the adjoining foyer. The Zimfest Marketplace surrounded the periphery of the Grove, convenient to the dorms, Valsetz Dining Hall and the festival workshop spaces.
Valuing education as well as performance, Zimfest attracts Zimbabwean music and culture experts from around the world to teach festival participants. Workshops are available on everything from basic Shona drumming to traditional dance to the ancient sounds of mbira and the irresistible, effervescent marimba.
Zimfest 2015 celebrated the theme “Enduring Rhythms ~ Gathering in Harmony.” In choosing this theme, the 2015 organizing committee has been inspired by the power of Zimbabwean music and dance to bring people together and build community. We enjoyed a full three and a half days of Zimbabwean-inflected fun, music, dance, fun, song, culture and—did we say fun?
Zimbabweans at Zimfest
We welcomed to Zimfest for the first time: magwenyambira “Samaita” Vitalis Wilbert Botsa from Murehwa; Chaka Mhembere, longtime member of the Blacks Unlimited, now living in Eugene; and Karoi native Tafadzwa Matamba of the Vancouver duo Mbira Spirit. The Muchineripi family band, Chihera, joined us from Denver.
Some of our returning Zimbabwean friends who attended this year were: marimba specialist Patience Musandirire, who is currently teaching in Botswana; Patience Chaitezvi Munjeri from Chinoyi, Zimbabwe; Kurai Blessings Mubaiwa, from Vancouver, BC; Zivanai Masango, San Diego; Rujeko Dumbutshena of Albuquerque, Mandla Kaunda of Tacoma and Paul Mataruse from Seattle.
Unveiling the Zimfest 2015 Poster
Many thanks to Amy Becker and the Mandala Peace Project for their hard work and creative efforts creating the mandala design for the 2015 Zimfest poster.