Zimfest is much more than workshops and concerts! There are many other festival events to partake in, listed here. And they are all FREE! (except Prefest workshops).
Pre-Zimfest Events in the Monmouth Area
Free Zimfest Workshop in Independence
Wednesday, August 8: 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Zimfest instructors Lucky Moyo and Tsungai Tsikirai lead a one-hour Song and Dance workshop at the River Gallery, 184 S. Main Street, Independence OR 97351. Free – we want to introduce Monmouth and Independence residents to Zimbabwean music. This is a Zimfest Outreach activity, seeking more ways to spread the music and strengthen our ties to the local community.
Monmouth Music in the Park
Wednesday, August 8: 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Once again this year, Boka Marimba will be playing a free concert at 6:30 PM Wednesday at the 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 official Zimfest activity, but part of the Monmouth Music in the Park series. For more information, see the Monmouth City homepage.
Thursday, August 9: 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Some school and performing groups start their festival learning early by scheduling group or private lessons with their favorite teachers on Thursday before Zimfest starts. For information on Prefest and scheduling private sessions, see the Information for Teachers page.
Opening Ceremony and Free Concert
Thursday Evening, August 9: 7:30 – 9:15 p.m., The Grove
Following the Opening Ceremony led by Zimbabwean guests, enjoy a free performance featuring the top youth band from Boulder, Shamwari Tamba.
Open Marimba Jam Time
Friday and Saturday, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m., WUC Calapooia Room
We have been reluctant to schedule time for marimba jamming in the past because of potential damage to instruments that don’t belong to us. However, now that Zimfest has the permanent use of several sets (thank you Margie Smith and Paul Hayes!) we feel we can offer time on the Zimfest instruments. Because the Zimfest schedule is so packed with activities, the only time we could find that doesn’t conflict with workshops, performances or other activities is during dinnertime! These times in the Calapooia Room, one of the marimba workshop rooms, are open to all participants at any level, and you can drop in for any length of time that you want. An experienced marimba player will be present to act as a facilitator. We ask you to respect one another and respect the instruments.
Marimba Jam Rules of Engagement
Respect the Instruments
Respect Each Other
- Decide as a group what to play
- Make sure everyone who wants to play gets a chance
- Give suggestions, not critisism
- Ask before you photo or record
Remember, we’re a community
And have fun!
Free Panel Discussion: Cultural Appropriation
Saturday, August 11: 9:30 – 11:30 a.m., WUC Pacific Room
A couple of American bands in different cities have recently shared instances in which audiences questioned the appropriateness of their playing Zimbabwean music. Issues of appropriation arise every so often, and could be said to be endemic within our mostly-white North American community of Zimbabwean music lovers. There is a wide range of perspectives on the topic of cultural appropriation/mis-appropriation; some members of the community have well-developed thoughts about it and others, especially younger students, have not thought about it at all. The Zimfest 2018 Organizing Committee and the Zimfest Association Board of Directors feel it is time for a community discussion around these often-sensitive issues, a session that would be educational for all. We have scheduled the discussion for a time when no workshops or concerts are happening. All Zimfest participants are invited to attend.
The panel will be moderated by Rujeko Dumbutshena, former Director of Bantu-Tumbuka Camp and Zimfest Association board member. Panel participants are: Jocelyn and Zachary Moon, Lucky Moyo, Dr. Moyo ‘Rainos’ Mutamba and Sheree Seretse. We envision each panelist sharing their thoughts for 15-20 minutes, with time for questions and discussion with the attendees.
Community Time / Village Meeting
Sunday, August 12: 9:30 – 11:30 a.m., WUC Columbia Room
The Zimfest Association has set aside time on Sunday morning, August 12 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. The Zimfest 2018 Organizing Committee and Zimfest Association Board of Directors cordially invite all Zimfest participants to join us for this meeting.
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.
Festival Highlight Show – Join Your Teachers Onstage
Sunday, August 12: 4:10 – 4:55 p.m., Outdoor Stage
- All Dance: Gumboot Dancing with Lucky Moyo, Session 7.
- All Singing: Salulandela (Eat my Dust) with Tsungai Tsikirai, Session 4.
Students join their teachers on stage in an exuberant demonstration of what they learned at two workshops at Zimfest 2018. The Festival Highlights shows were so popular at Zimfest 2015 and 2016 that we are staging another this year. Zimfest staff asked two teachers to choose workshops that would work well as showcases, and we think the two listed above are great choices! We are encouraging attendees to sign up for these workshops and, if you are available, to show up 15 minutes before the listed performance time. (But don’t worry, we’d love to have you take either of these workshops whether or not you perform!)
Late Night Gatherings
Late Night Thursday through Sunday, Sequoia Commons
Late Night Gatherings will start after the evening concerts and continue until the wee hours of the morning. These parties will be held in Sequoia Commons. This free-standing building is across Stadium Drive apart from any dorms, 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 and play in nearby locations.
We would love for drummers to find a different time and place for jamming – unless you are only one or two experienced drummers accompanying other activities.
Leave marimba jamming to the Open Marimba Jam times – see above.
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.