Zimfest News Blog

April Board Meeting Minutes

Minutes from the April 9th meeting of the Zimfest Association board of directors have been posted.

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March Board Meeting Minutes

Minutes from the March 12th meeting of the Zimfest Association board of directors have been posted.

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February Board Meeting Minutes

Minutes from the February 12th meeting of the Zimfest Association board of directors have been posted.

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Zimfest 2018 Announcement

Dear Zimfest Community,
On behalf of the Zimfest Association Board of Directors, I am pleased to announce the dates and location for next year’s festival. Zimfest 2018 will be held August 9-12, 2018 at Western Oregon University. We are happy to return to the festival-friendly WOU campus in the town of Monmouth, Oregon, nearly equidistant from Portland and Eugene.

Western Oregon University has worked well as a Zimfest site for the past two years, but we would also love to return to Washington State at some future date. Please be assured that the ZA Board is working hard to locate alternative locations for the festival. As always, we welcome your suggestions.

Mark your calendars for WOU in August 2018 and we hope to see you there!

Best regards,
Claire Jones
ZA Board

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January Board Meeting Minutes

Minutes from the January 8th meeting of the Zimfest Association board of directors have been posted.

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December Board Meeting Minutes

Minutes from the December 11th meeting of the Zimfest Association board of directors have been posted.

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November Board Meeting Minutes

Minutes from the November 20th meeting of the Zimfest Association board of directors have been posted.

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Zimfest Association Fund Raising

Dear Zimfest Association Friends and Members,

We hope you are doing well and have found a good way to cope with Zimfest’s absence from next year’s summer plans! The Holiday season is drawing to a close, but the Zimfest Association’s Annual Campaign and Membership Drive are just getting warmed up! This will be our fourth year running this campaign, and we are hoping that it will be our most successful ever. While the festival itself provides some income to the association, these funds are simply insufficient to help sustain and grow the Association and the Festival itself. Here are some ways that you can help.

Become a Member of the Zimfest Association

Our goal is to have all Zimfest participants be members of the organization. It is our hope that a healthy dialogue about the festival and Association can emerge from a membership that feels a sense of ownership in the Zimfest Association. Membership covers January 1st through December 31st. Membership dues are an essential part of keeping Zimfest alive and vibrant. From as little as $10.00 per year for our Youth/Student membership, there are membership categories to fit any budget and situation! Consider Regular, Family, Couple, Teacher, Lifetime, and Lifetime Family, memberships. Members may choose to have their names published on the website and in the Festival Guide as a public display of support for Zimfest. Membership fees are also 100% tax deductible. Please refer to the membership page to renew or initiate a membership — https://zimfest.org/about/membership/.

Provide Charitable Donations to the Zimfest Association

While Membership dues are a great start, in order to insure long-term stability Zimfest needs a wider base of support. For this reason, we are asking for everyone who is able to make a tax-deductible donation to the Zimfest Association. These donations have been essential for the festival in the past, and your support of Zimfest now will help secure the future of the festival and sustain our financial well being. If your company supports matching donations, find out from your supervisor or Human Resources department how your company can match your contribution– often dollar for dollar!

If you are a regular attendee of the festival, this is the perfect year to make a donation. Without a festival this year, we hope that you consider donating even a small fraction of what would normally go towards travel expenses, workshops, meal cards, etc. to help keep the momentum in this gap year. Your contributions really do make a difference and help the Association continue its efforts to put on the best Zimbabwean music festival in North America! To donate, go to https://zimfest.org/about/support-zimfest/.

Other Ways to Contribute

Finally, we’d like to remind you of two completely painless ways you can donate and help Zimfest on an ongoing basis.

AmazonSmile

First, when you shop on Amazon, you can support Zimfest by choosing the Zimfest Association as the organization you would like to receive 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases. See https://zimfest.org/blog/2014/support-zimfest-when-you-shop-at-amazon-com/.

eBay

Also, for anyone who sells items on eBay, you can choose to donate a percentage of the final sales price to the Zimfest Association. See http://charity.ebay.com/charity-auctions/charity/zimfest-association/72685/ for more information.

If you’d like to learn more about this festival and what goes on during the other 360 days a year, please contact us at gro.t1496121375sefmi1496121375z@dra1496121375ob1496121375 or review our recent activities on our blog which can be found at http://www.zimfest.org/blog/.

Thanks for all you do to help make Zimfest a success. Best wishes for the new year, and we’ll see you at Zimfest 2018!

–The Zimfest Association Board

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ZA Call for Interest in Hosting 2018 Zimfest

Dear Zimfest Community,

As you may know, The Zimfest Association Board decided earlier this year to not hold Zimfest in 2017, to allow us to focus on the long-term success and sustainability of the festival. At the same time, we’re looking forward to Zimfest 2018!

Current options include returning to Western Oregon University (which would require less planning effort than a new site) or identifying a community that can commit to organizing and hosting the festival at some other location. However, because of the lead time required to book facilities, we would like to identify the 2018 festival site and dates by the end of January, 2017. With 2018 taken care of, the Board will continue working on how best to select and rotate among festival venues after 2018.

Thus, we extend a call to all communities to consider organizing and hosting Zimfest 2018. The community will have festival coordination support from the Zimfest board and additional festival volunteers. Information—including pros, cons and/or deal-breakers—on a number of potential venues has been collected over the years here: https://zimfest.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Potential-Zimfest-Venues-2016-12.pdf

Should you be interested in organizing and hosting Zimfest 2018, we’d love to hear from you via gro.t1496121375sefmi1496121375z@dra1496121375ob1496121375 by January 8, 2017. Individuals or communities that express interest will be contacted by the Board for further discussion. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions as well.

With all best wishes,

The Zimfest Association Board of Directors
Rujeko Dumbutshena
Jacqueline Fallon
Chris Halaksa
Tapiwa Kapurura
Claire Jones
Daniel Lockley
Dana Moffett
Evelyn Mukwedeya
David Simon
Alex Weeks
Janis Weeks

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Village Meeting and October Board Meeting Minutes

The Zimfest Association board of directors has posted minutes from the Village Meeting at Zimfest 2016 and the October 9th board meeting.

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Passing of Sheasby Matiure

The Zimfest Association Board regrets to announce the passing of Dr. Sheasby Matiure in Zimbabwe. The Zimfest community has lost one of our longtime teachers and friends, a great contributor to Zimbabwean music education. Our deepest condolences go to his family and students worldwide.

Nematambudziko,
–ZA Board of Directors

Sheasby Matiure Obituary

It is with a heavy heart that we share the passing of Dr. Sheasby Matiure on November 10, 2016 in Harare, Zimbabwe. Sheasby was an incredibly talented musician, educator and scholar in both North America and Zimbabwe. He was a commanding teacher, with a true passion for music, as well as for teaching. His dedication to his students was matched only by his dedication to his wife and family.

Sheasby Matiure and Ambuya Beauler Dyoko

Sheasby Matiure and Ambuya Beauler Dyoko

Sheasby Matiure, born on July 27, 1956, grew up in two areas: Chivhu in Mashonaland, south of Harare, and Bulawayo in western Zimbabwe. His grandfather played the mbira and wanted to teach him. However, he passed away before he could learn from him. In high school he stood out as a musician, playing piano and guitar, and among his favorite musical styles were maskanda, Palm Wine music, and Jimi Hendrix. Sheasby earned his Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from the University of Zimbabwe and a Music Instructor’s Certificate from Kwanongoma College of Music where he was introduced to the mbira nyunganyunga, the marimba and to choral singing, all of which became his areas of expertise and excellence. From 1985-2000, Sheasby served as Lecturer of Music Education at Seke Teacher Training College in Chitungwiza. He has performed across Europe, the United States, and Africa both as a solo artist and as Manager and Artistic Director of the Zimbabwe National Dance Company (1980-1982).

It was while Sheasby directed the National Dance Company that he met Dumisani Maraire who had returned from the US and was working for the Ministry of Youth Sport and Recreation. Dumi had taught and performed extensively in the US, and planted the seeds of the Zimbabwean music community, especially in the Pacific Northwest. Sheasby quickly became his right hand man, performing mbira nyunganyunga on international stages. Sheasby met Natalie Jones Kreutzer, who taught in the newly formed Music Education department at the University of Zimbabwe, and who sought a Zimbabwean musician to bring to the United States to serve as an artist-in-residence for the International Vocal Ensemble at Indiana University. She and Mary Goetze served as mentors to Sheasby throughout his time at IU.

Sheasby became an artist-in-residence at IU in 1997, and stayed in Bloomington to finish a Master’s degree in Ethnomusicology in 1999. During that time, he also taught at Zimfest and across the US. In 1998, he formed the Mutinhimira Marimba Ensemble, with the support of IU’s Folklore & Ethnomusicology Department, which purchased the marimba set from Zimbabwe. In 2004, Sheasby returned to Indiana University on a Fulbright Scholarship to complete his PhD, including his dissertation, “Performing Zimbabwean Music In North America: An Ethnography of Mbira and Marimba Performance Practice in the United States.” During this time, he continued to teach in the Zimbabwean music community, formed a second incarnation of Mutinhimira, and led the Mbira Queens, an mmbira nyunganyunga ensemble featuring rich vocal harmonies. During both stints at IU, he taught undergraduate courses in African Music and Performance.

Sheasby Matiure Graduation

Sheasby Matiure Graduation

Upon completion of his PhD in Ethnomusicology (minor in African Studies) in 2008, he returned to Zimbabwe as Senior Lecturer of Music Education and Ethnomusicology and Chairman of the Department of Teacher Education at the University of Zimbabwe. In that role, he oversaw national education standards for Zimbabwe. He continued to passionately support the spread of Zimbabwean music through his ongoing connection to his mbira and marimba students in the US. His last teaching and performing tour was in the summer of 2014, and included Vermont, the Midwest, Boulder, Colorado, and the Pacific Northwest, including Zimfest and Nhemamusasa North. He had planned to return in 2017, hoping to introduce his musical son Tafadzwa to the Zimbabwean music community in the US.

He recorded two albums while at Indiana University, Ngoma (1998), a collection of mbira songs featuring back-up vocals by Monkey Puzzle, and Sarura Wako (2008), a combination of the Mbira Queens and Mutinhimira Marimba Band repertoire. Sarura Wako (in Shona, “choose your partner”) is dedicated to his wife, Jane.

Throughout his long career, Sheasby performed and conducted workshops in African musical performance in Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Great Britain. He performed for Queen Elizabeth II during a tour of Australia, and for Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf during her visit to IU. During his graduate studies, he performed and conducted workshops across the United States, in a variety of contexts. According to Sheasby, one pinnacle of his career was his performance with the Mbira Queens at Zimfest in 2008, as the crowd, many of whom were his students, former Dumi students, or fellow Zimbabwean musicians, sang along enthusiastically.

He was a well-loved teacher and friend to many in all corners of the US. He was known for his immensely powerful singing voice, his strict concern for Shona pronunciation, and his “tough love” teaching style. His humor kept workshops and rehearsals light and full of laughter, and his discipline sharpened our skills. Sheasby’s talent was immense, and his ability to teach Zimbabwean music was a cherished gift for students and audiences across the world. He believed that the power of music was in sharing it.

Dr. Sheasby Matiure is survived by his beloved wife, Jane, his daughters, Tinashe Hore (Matthew) and Tsungie Munyeza (Obert), and sons, Takudwa (Runyararo) and Tafadzwa, and five grandchildren. His spirit continues on through them, and through his friends and students.

–The Mbira Queens, Mutinhimira Marimba Ensemble, and friends

Sheasby and Jane Matiure

Sheasby and Jane Matiure

Donations to support Jane and the family with funeral expenses can be posted to PayPal at this link:
paypal.me/AngelaScharfenberger

Or checks can be sent to:
Angela Scharfenberger
1121 Julia Ave.
Louisville, KY 40204

“It does touch people’s souls…a lot of times, even when I’m playing on and on because I hear something I don’t usually hear, and I just keep playing on and on for a long time, the instrument is talking to me and I’m talking back to it. If that happens in a performance, that moves from you into the audience.” –Sheasby Matiure, 2007

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September Board Meeting Minutes

Minutes from the September 11th meeting of the Zimfest Association board of directors have been posted.

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