Zimfest 2016 Archive

Festival Events

Zimfest is much more than workshops and concerts! There are many other festival events to partake of, and here is a partial list:

Monmouth Music in the Park

Wednesday, August 10: 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

As a pre-Prefest kickoff to Zimfest, Boka Marimba will be playing a free concert at 6:30 PM Wednesday at the newly-constructed amphitheater on Main Street in downtown Monmouth. Parking will be free in WOU Lot D at the corner of Jackson and Warren Streets for this event only. This is not an offical Zimfest activity, but part of the Monmouth Music in the Park series. For more information, see the Monmouth City homepage.


Thursday, August 11: 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Start your festival workshopping early and take advantage of the opportunity to schedule group or private lessons with your favorite Zimfest teacher. A number of teachers will make themselves available to teach private lessons or group workshops at Prefest on Thursday.

The following Zimbabwean teachers will be available: Musekiwa Chingodza, Simba Kamuriwo, Clayton Master, Chaka Mhembere, Lucky Moyo, Kurai Mubaiwa and Mike Sibanda (all pending visa approval).

These teachers from the U.S. will also be available: Jeff Brahe, Tedd Judd, Mylinda King, Patrick Latimer, Daniel Lockley, Eric Miller, Jake Roberts, and Wanda Walker.

If you or your group would like to schedule a Prefest workshop, contact us at and we will put you in touch with the teacher(s) and help determine a time and location for the workshop.

Once your group has agreed on a time with the chosen teacher, please get back to us at . Zimfest will provide workshop space, including marimbas if needed. Note that unlike previous years, all Prefest workshops taking place in workshop rooms rented from the host institution must be entered as private workshops in the Zimfest registration system. Zimfest will charge each participant the workshop hourly fee ($15/hour) and will pay the teacher the hourly rate for teachers ($60 per hour). This arrangement does not preclude your group from negotiating an additional private instruction payment (or tip) to the teacher, however! We strongly suggest that you schedule your Prefest workshops well in advance (six weeks recommended) to give Zimfest and the teachers enough time to plan for your personalized workshop. All workshops must be completed by 3:00 p.m. that day.

Opening Ceremony and Free Concert

Thursday Evening, August 11: 7:30 – 9:00 p.m., The Grove

Following the Thursday Evening Opening Ceremony, a free performance by Nyemwerero will set the tone of the festival with the dynamic sound of Musekiwa Chingodza on mbira, joined by Zivanai Masango and other members of ZiMBiRA!

Lunch Meeting: Calling All Zimfest Old Timers

Saturday, August 13: 11:45 a.m., Backstage Room in Valsetz Dining Center

The Zimfest Association Board of Directors is very interested in hearing how future Zimfests can better meet the needs and desires of experienced musicians and long-time Zimfest participants. The Board will be hosting a discussion to hear your feedback on this topic. Please join us, bring your lunch, bring your ideas, and help contribute to stronger Zimfests in the future! This is a lunch meeting, so get your food in the cafeteria at Valsetz and then come back out towards the entrance and turn left into the Backstage Room. (Space is limited there, unfortunately.)

Community Time/Village Meeting

Sunday, August 14: 9:30 – 11:30 a.m., Columbia Room, WUC

Zimfest is more than a yearly event; we are a living and growing community of music-lovers from around the world!

The Zimfest Association has set aside a special time on Sunday morning, August 14 for all of us to gather and consider together topics that are vital to our community. We refer to this time as the Zimfest Village Meeting and cordially invite all Zimfest participants to attend.

The Village Meeting will include opportunities for cultural exchange, and involve a panel of Zimbabwean guests. We invite all Zimbabweans in attendance at the festival to join our panel of guests, whether or not you are teaching or performing. This is also the time for the annual public Zimfest Association (ZA) business meeting, which will include a discussion about future Zimfest plans, a report on the membership organization, and a discussion on ZA Board initiatives.  We look forward to feedback from festival participants on all topics. If you are interested in joining the fun and excitement of helping to organize an annual Zimfest or taking part in ZA Board policy-making, please contact the Board at for more information.

The Village Meeting will take place in the Columbia Room in the lower level of Werner University Center, at the end of the corridor leading away from the foyer and Zimfest Registration area. Participants can continue on to lunch right after the meeting. Our hope is that smaller group discussions during lunch will carry forward some of the topics covered during the meeting itself.

The Zimfest 2016 Organizing Committee and Zimfest Association Board of Directors cordially invite all Zimfest participants to join us for this meeting.

Late Night Mbira and Jamming

Every Night (Thursday through Sunday), Late Night, Butler Hall Lounge (ground floor)

Late Night Mbira Gatherings will start after the evening concerts and go until the wee hours of the morning. These parties will be held in the Butler Hall Lounge. There are no residents in Butler during the summer, so we will not be disturbing any light sleepers!

Late night mbira parties have taken place since the first Zimfest, and are an opportunity for Zimbabweans and other experienced musicians to share a rich tradition with the rest of us.  Spontaneous outbursts of Zimbabwean call-and-response singing (who can forget Jimu Makurumbandi’s song leading in 2014?) and jamming with Zivanai’s electric guitar have expanded the realm of musical possibilities so that the gatherings are no longer limited to just mbira, hosho, singing and dancing. In past years, concerns have been raised about the gatherings as we realized that not everyone had the same understanding and expectations. Below are some of the ideas that have been put forth about how best to maintain the tradition and uphold the intended spirit of the event.

Thank you so much for your support and mutual respect in making this year’s mbira and jamming gatherings rich and fulfilling for all!

Late Night Mbira and Jamming Thoughts

The late night gathering is a time to watch, to listen and to dance, as the more accomplished musicians share their ancient and modern traditions with us. We ask that you not use this time for experimenting with newly learned songs or hosho patterns, and we encourage groups of beginners and intermediate players to gather in nearby locations.

We would love for drummers to find a different time and place for jamming – unless you are only one or two drummers accompanying other activities.

A host will be designated for each night’s gathering to help the party run smoothly. If several people would like to change to a different instrument or activity (e.g. from mbira to singing), the host can help facilitate the change if needed.

This is a ceremonial time. Above all else, please be respectful.

As a reminder we encourage you to bring food, snacks and beverages to share, but please remember: no containers of alcohol are allowed in the lounge.

Sing-Dance-Play! Tambai Tambai! Dlala-Dlala!