Noon to 5:30 pm, August 14, 2015
Outdoor Stage at The Grove (Free)
Noon – 1:00 pm Lunchtime Show
Kurai Blessing Mubaiwa
Kurai Blessing Mubaiwa was born in 1976 in the village of Mutimbanyoka, in Murewa district, Zimbabwe. He began playing mbira at age six, watching while his father, uncles and other village elders played mbira in traditional ceremonies. In 1994 Kurai moved to Harare and joined the cultural group Savannah Arts, where he learned to play marimba, trained as an actor and facilitated and coordinated the Streets Ahead program which focused on teaching street youth to play marimba. In 1995 he participated in The Youth Forum and taught cultural arts in Denmark. In 1998 Kurai toured West Africa and Europe with Chiwoniso Maraire and opened for Cesaria Evora. In 2000 he joined Theatre Talipot in Reunion Island performing in the production “Passage,” which also toured South Africa, France and Scotland. Kurai immigrated to Vancouver in 2002, where he has performed with the Art Starts Program with several different groups at elementary, middle and high schools. After Kurai received his Canadian citizenship in 2008, he was able to go back on the road to perform at festivals such as WOMAD, Montreal Jazz Festival and Zimfest. In his solo performances he sings, dances and plays mbira, marimba, drums and other percussion instruments. Kurai also continues to perform as the lead musician with the groups ZimbaMoto and Zhambai Trio.
1:10 – 1:50 pm
Mhofu Marimba plays the music of Zimbabwe and southern Africa. The group is made up of teen musicians in Oregon’s Tigard and Tualatin community. Mhofu Marimba was named for the totem of Musekiwa Chingodza, a frequent guest teacher. Mhofu is a large African eland, and while being representative of Musekiwa Chingodza’s totem, is also representative of the roots of the members’ beginning marimba experience years ago at Deer Creek Elementary School, with the Bucks mascot. The group has been fortunate to work with visiting Zimbabwean musicians Musekiwa Chingodza, Irene Chigamba and Patience Musandirire. Mhofu Marimba has performed at several Zimfests, the Tualatin Crawfish Festival, Portland’s Sand in the City event, education rallies and other community events. Mhofu Marimba is coached by Rosalie Brown-Lundh.
2:00 – 2:40 pm
Njuzu Mbira was formed in 1998, the first ensemble of its kind in Portland, playing the enchanting, beautiful and lively traditional mbira music of some of the Shona people of Zimbabwe. Since then Njuzu Mbira has performed in various settings including schools, benefits, farmers markets, Oregon Country Fair, Oregon Zoo, Zimfest and pubs.
2:50 – 3:30 pm
Mutswi Wambuya operates as a performing ensemble for Kutsinhira Cultural Marimba Center under the direction of Bud Cohen. Mutswi Wambuya means “rainbow” in chiShona and is also literally “the stick that grandmother uses to pound grain.” Mutswi received our name from Musekiwa Chingodza during our first performance over 7 years ago. Since then many members have graduated and gone off to college, but we keep adding new talent and coming back together to rock out whenever possible.
3:40 – 4:30 pm
Jenaguru “Full Moon” Marimba was formed in 1998 at Kutsinhira Cultural Arts Center. Our members include Ryan Herlands, Karen Hyatt, Maggie Jones, Karen Kline, Craig LaFollette, Darlene Lashbrook, Jeff Muiderman, Nancy Novitski, Jake Roberts, Mandy Walker-LaFollette and Wanda Walker. We play Zimbabwean-style marimba embellished with drumming and singing. We have performed at the Eugene Celebration, Saturday Market, Oregon Bach Festival, Sam Bond’s Garage, Cozmic Pizza, Oregon Country Fair, Zimfest, and many private events.
4:40 – 5:30 pm
Kuungana is the word in Swahili and chiShona that means “to connect” or “join.” Connecting African with Western, youth with elders, and traditional with contemporary, our band joins with our audience playing and singing this rich, polyrhythmic music on marimbas, hosho, mbira and drums. Formed in Bellingham in 2011 with former members of the long-standing Juba Marimba and the youth marimba band The Big Bad Monkeys, Kuungana has been rocking our performances ever since.