July 30 to August 1 Online
A Quilt of Local Events… Stitched Together
Welcome to Zimfest 2021, an online festival stitched together from many local events and recording sessions across the globe! The Organizing Committee recognized that while the COVID pandemic would prevent the Zimfest community from coming together in one location, we could seize the opportunity to facilitate participation from more Zimbabweans and others than are normally able to come to an in-person festival. In the spirit of inclusiveness, we invited participation from all over North America as well as Zimbabweans throughout the global diaspora!
Zimfest 2021 Features
- Live participatory workshops – on Zoom, advanced registration required. As internet in Zimbabwe is not reliable enough for live workshops in real-time, several of the workshops are being taught by Americans on behalf of their Zimbabwean teachers. See Live Participatory Workshops for the lineup.
- Prerecorded performances and presentations constitute the largest portion of the Zimfest 2021 program and range from solo and ensemble performances to pre-recorded presentations such as lectures and Zimbabwean stories. Consult the Concert Schedule.
- The Zimfest Village Meeting will be on Zoom this year, 3:15 – 4:15 pm Sunday August 1. See Festival Events.
- African Marketplace: As a means of providing support to Zimbabwean artisans during these trying times, the Zimfest 2021 Virtual Marketplace features vendors and importers selling instruments and other wares made by Zimbabweans.
Featured Zimbabweans New to Zimfest
Umkhathi Theatre Works is a multi-disciplinary performing arts ensemble based in Bulawayo. Led by Matheso Dube, they will be presenting “Footprints,” a musical dance show which tells stories of the Ndebele people of Zimbabwe.
Othnell “Mangoma” Moyo performs with his group Music According to Percussion (MAP), a Harare ensemble which sets percussion as the sole driver of its music. MAP’s music is rooted in several types of mbira, ngororombe panpipes and the ngoma/ingungu drum.
Also from Harare, Evans “Pfumela” Mapfumo is a singer-songwriter and guitarist. His band Kiat Afrika features Evans’ artful guitar work fused with traditional Zimbabwean rhythms played on marimba, mbira and other western instruments.
Joyce Warikandwa is a mbira virtuoso from Mhondoro now resident in the Ubuntu Village in Gutu. She and the Ubuntu Women will offer a short-but-sweet performance of classical mbira songs with a fresh and contemporary take.
Blessing Bled Chimanga and his four-piece band rock the house with Blessing’s virtuosic marimba playing and high-energy African rhythms on stage.
Tino & Muna Mudepu are two brothers, Tino and Muna Munashe, who play Afrofusion Music. Their sound combines African and western instruments including mbira, ngoma, trumpet and acoustic guitar.
Ndomupeshe Chipendo is a Harare-based dance specialist who has trained at Afrikera Arts Trust as well as the Music Crossroads Academy. She will be showcasing her versatility in two short presentations of dance and percussion.
Nicholas Manomano is a full-time marimba teacher, player, performer and manufacturer who has traveled extensively in Europe and Central Asia. He is probably the most influential and best-known marimba player in Harare today.
Lino Piloto is the director of Ntswai Ntswai Arts, an organization based in the Dangamvura township outside of Mutare, Zimbabwe. He teaches traditional music and dance to children in the community and adults in schools and universities.
From the Diaspora!
TORAJ is a Zimbabwean-Polish band, performing in Warsaw, fusing traditional Zimbabwean mbira and traditional Polish music (the violin) – both in playing, and in approach. TORAJ focuses on culture, tradition, storytelling, and bringing together Poland and Zimbabwe.
Multi-talented dance teacher and musician Jimu “Jimmy” Makurumbandi joins us from Nesbyen, Norway, performing as Jimu Makurumbandi and [his] Marimba Family.
Linos Wengara Magaya and his Zimbaremabwe bandmate Tim Lloyd, based in the UK, provide a sweet set of traditional acoustic mbira music.
Colorado and Zimfest favorite band ZiMBiRA is led by multi-talented guitarist Zivanai Masango, ably assisted by his wife Helen Masvikeni.
Unable to participate: Michael Sibanda and the all-star Totem Marimba Band from Johannesburg were unable to perform due to a Level 4 COVID lockdown and social unrest in South Africa..
Welcome Back to Zimfest
Returning Zimbabwean Guests
- Kelvin Chikumbirike
- Musekiwa Chingodza
- Mafuleni Family
- Tafadzwa Matiure
- Fradreck Mujuru
- Alois Mutinhiri
- Anesu Ndoro
Returning Zimbabwean-U.S. Residents
- Rujeko Dumbutshena (recently moved to Gainesville, Florida)
- Chaka Mhembere (Mudzidzi Mbira, Eugene)
- Muchineripi Family (Chihera, Denver)
- Gilbert Zvamaida (Kudana, Eugene)
New and Returning U.S. Bands
- Boka Marimba (Portland, OR)
- Boulder Bike Underpass Choir (Boulder, CO)
- Kudana Marimba (Eugene, OR)
- Kutandara (Boulder, CO)
- The Low Flying Knobs (Boulder, CO)
- Manzwi (Seattle, WA)
- Mbira Mamas (Boulder, CO)
- Mudzidzi Mbira (Eugene, OR)