Greetings Zimbabwean Music Community,
We hope you are faring well during these uncertain times. As we mentioned in the Zimfest Association post announcing the cancellation of Zimfest 2020, we have been brainstorming ways to sustain our community and celebrate Zimbabwean music and culture while remaining physically distant. In the meantime, a member of the community has shared with us an opportunity to perform marimba together virtually that we’d like to pass on to you.
Michael Smith, a Portland marimba teacher (and vendor at Zimfest 2016), has been working with his students on a Virtual MarimbaLab Project using their arrangement of the song “Lean On Me” in the key of C so that everyone (especially Zimbabwean-style marimba players) can participate. He had just launched the project on his website when the news came out that composer and 1970s soul music icon Bill Withers had passed away, making the project more timely and poignant as a video tribute.
Go to Michael’s MarimbaLab website to learn more about the project and join in if you wish. Marimba players, drummers, hosho (shaker) players and hand-clappers are all welcome!
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention other Zimfest musicians who are finding ways to share their music online, Check out our favorite guitarist Zivanai Masango’s Facebook page and Youtube channel; the ZiMBiRA leader has so much to share! Those who are on Facebook will find lots of mbira music shared by–among many others–Zimfest teachers new (Taffie Matiure) and old (Joel Laviolette, hosting a weekly mbira session).
Stay safe and healthy,
Zimfest Organizing Committee