Zimfest News Blog

Posts by Claire Jones

Announcing Zimfest 2019

Dear Zimfest community,

The Zimfest Association Board of Directors and I are pleased to announce that we will be producing a festival next year! Zimfest 2019 will take place at Western Oregon University in Monmouth, from  August 8 to 11. Mark your calendars and make your plans!

When this year’s festival ended, we were unsure whether we had enough committed volunteers to staff an organizing committee (OC) for 2019.  It has been very gratifying to see a number of new recruits raise their hands to volunteer, and I have been in touch with almost everyone who wrote to us or signed up at the festival. While we are confident we have enough people onboard for the OC, we still – always – need volunteer help leading up to and/or at the festival. You can always write to volunteers{at}zimfest{dot}org or complete the form at the bottom of the Why and How to Volunteer page.

To those of you who are unable to attend Zimfest on the dates WOU is available to us (the second weekend of August): we are sorry we have not been able to accommodate you and are continuing to seek dates earlier in the summer. We are looking ahead to Zimfest 2020 at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA, where we have been promised (fingers crossed) an earlier date. We cannot confirm an exact weekend for Zimfest 2020 however.

Blessings to all, enjoy the fall colors!
Claire (Jones)
Zimfest Coordinator

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Update: Patience Musandirire Lost Luggage

Dear Zimfest participants, Zimbabwean music and cultural enthusiasts,

Those of you who were at Zimfest may recall that Patience Musandirire told us that his flights from Zimbabwe had been delayed and rerouted, and along the way his baggage went missing. His suitcase arrived one week later, after the festival. It had been ripped open and a number of items were missing.  We have filed claims with United Airlines and Ethiopian Airlines for delayed luggage and lost content. These claims have been processed and partial payments made in the form of these transferable airline vouchers that expire in one year (summer 2019).

Consider helping Patience to get reimbursement for the loss of luggage, delayed claims, and mbira instruments stolen from his bag. If you travel on United Airlines, we have $500 in travel vouchers that we can transfer to you. Contact Gretel Baumgartner (in Oregon) to coordinate details in transferring these airline vouchers, valid on United Airlines. You will pay $500 for the same travel value – all money will be delivered to Patience in Harare, Zimbabwe. Gretel will arrange safe and secure wired funds. If you have current knowledge on the best means of transferring funds to Zimbabwe, please write to Gretel or reply to this blog post.

Please contact Gretel via email gjb9876 “at” yahoo “dot” com.

Posted on behalf of Gretel Baumgartner and Patience Musandirire

 

Thank you.

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Zimfest Lost and Found

Hello Zimfesters,

The following items were turned in as Lost and Found at the Zimfest registration desk. I am willing to mail them to the owners if you can identify them. Write to claire{at}zimfest{dot}org with descriptions.
Fleece jacket
Folding knife
Adult onesie

Enjoy the fall weather!
Claire Jones, Zimfest Coordinator

 

A message from Julia Chigamba:
Hello Zimfest family/ community
Sorry to bring you sad news. I had my mbira at my booth inside the mbira bags I was selling.
This mbira was made by my Father Baba Chigamba made it in a week as fast as he can and gave it to Kelly Takunda Orphan to bring it me. This mbira is so special to me very very special to me. I can’t stop thinking about it the story behind it and how it was made that quickly for me and was a gift to me from Jeanne Robinson Pimentel while we were in Zimbabwe in June. So please who ever has my baby you forgot to put it back on the table were the my baby was you can send it to my address.
It was truly fun and amazing to seeing everybody at zimfest. Don’t forget to message me about my mbira: nditistis55{at}gmail{dot}com.

Posted by Claire on behalf of Julia

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Welcome to Zimfest

Hello,
I write to you from Zimfest 2018 after a super opening ceremony and exhilarating performance by Shamwari Tamba of Boulder. We have a couple of last minute changes to report:

  • Guitarist Samuel Mukwedeya has had to cancel his teaching and participation in the festival. His Session 2 workshop Other Instruments: Chemutengure on Guitar will be taught by Zivanai Masango instead.
  • Samuel Mukwedeya’s Session 5 workshop Nyamamusango on Guitar is canceled.
  • Moyo Rainos Mutamba is having to leave the festival earlier than expected. His Session 7  Beginning Mbira: Chigwaya workshop will be taught by Alois Mutinhiri instead.
  • Due to access issues, all workshops scheduled to be taught by Erica Azim in Ackerman 3rd floor lounge, SW corner will be taught in Ackerman 140 instead.

Enjoy the festival!

Claire and the 2018 OC

 

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Final Message before Zimfest

Hello all,

Three days until the Zimfest opening ceremony!
Some reminders to all festival-goers:

  • The Monmouth weather forecast is for temperatures of 85 degrees F. and higher! Bring fans – WOU dorm rooms have no air conditioning! Also bring your own soap, as the linen packs do not include soap.
  • Those traveling from or through Portland should be aware that construction projects on I-5 may cause delays. A major repaving project is underway along 6 miles of Interstate 5 in Portland, and night time road work may delay traffic on I-5 in both directions from 8:00 PM until 5:30 or 8:00 AM every night during Zimfest. Check this site for updates.
  • We are instituting new procedures for workshop evaluations this year; class rosters will be put in the teachers’ registration packets, and evaluation forms will be placed in the rooms. Workshop students, please assist teachers in getting evaluations completed, clipped together and placed in the correct envelope.
  • Several of our Zimbabwean guests are looking for transportation back to Portland after the festival. Urgently, Moyo Mutamba needs to get to PDX on Sunday in time for a 4:52 PM flight, and Tafadzwa Matiure has a 6:50 PM flight. Lucky Moyo and Tsungai Tsikirai do not fly out of PDX until August 14, but would appreciate rides to Portland any time Monday.

See you all very soon for a festive and safe Zimfest!

Claire and the Zimfest 2018 OC

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Zimfest Registration Closing August 1

Hello all,
Countdown: 10 days until Zimfest 2018!

Here is your final reminder that Zimfest registration will close down completely August 1 at midnight. Registration for housing and dining is already closed.

  • No more workshop signups or changes may be made after midnight August 1. During the festival, students may not drop or transfer to another workshop unless the workshop they are enrolled in has been significantly changed by the festival organizers (such as a different teacher.) The reason for this is that if a workshop with low enrollment remains on the schedule and people are then allowed to drop out of it, Zimfest would be contractually obligated to pay the teacher even if s/he had no students to teach!
  • Online purchase of concert tickets ends at midnight August 1. Purchase your tickets in the next three days while the advance sale prices are still in effect!
  • Online signups for volunteers will close at midnight August 1. Help us out by signing up for shifts now so that we have a clear idea of what help is needed when the festival starts.
  • Another reminder for performers: if your band’s lineup has changed from the people you listed in your application, please send your updated band roster to performers{at}zimfest{dot}org. All performers requesting complimentary entrance must be listed on the band roster prior to the festival and may enter only one concert for free. Band members, make sure your contact person has taken care of this!

Woo hoo! See you soon in Monmouth!
Claire and the OC

 

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Zimfest Updates and Requests

Hello Zimfest community,

The countdown continues: 17 days until we meet again in Monmouth! As you probably know, registration for Zimfest housing and dining has closed. Signup for workshops and volunteering will close on midnight August 1. At that time the Organizing Committee will put the final touches on plans and programming for Zimfest 2018 at Western Oregon University August 9-12.

  • We will be cancelling low-enrollment workshops (those with 0, 1 or 2 students) on July 26, so if there is something you have your eye on, be sure to sign up before then or it may disappear from the schedule! Did you know that Cultural Presentation workshops are only $10 per hour? We would hate to have to cancel any of these educational sessions, so please peruse what is available on the Cultural Presentations page and sign up to deepen your knowledge of Zimbabwean culture.
  • Mbira instruments needed for mbira workshops: if you have signed up for an mbira workshop, some instruments will be provided in the tuning called for in the workshop description. If you own or can borrow an instrument, do bring it to the workshop. Further, if you can lend mbira instruments in the following tunings, please bring them to the Registration desk, and we promise we’ll take good care of them: nyunga nyunga; mbira dzavadzimu/nhare – Magaya standard tuning, also G tuning.
  • Hosho are supplied for hosho workshops thanks to Craig LaFollette of Marimbaworks, but if you have a favorite pair of your own, bring them!
  • Mary Shales’s Gofundme campaign to raise money for a plane ticket for Patience Musandirire did well for the first few days, and Zimfest was able to advance the money to buy him a plane ticket! However, the campaign has stalled at $945, of which Gofundme will keep a high percentage. If the campaign reaches $1500, Patience will not need to sacrifice his workshop earnings to help pay for the ticket. If you wish to donate, this is the direct link is gf.me/u/jtysvt. Tatenda, Siyabonga!

Festival Coordinator Claire Jones
The Zimfest 2018 Organizing Committee

More important now than ever:

Music Dancing Across Borders

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COUNTDOWN TO ZIMFEST 2018

Hello all,

It’s 23 days until we meet again in Monmouth!

If you are arriving on Thursday, August 9, WE NEED YOU to help us transform WOU campus into Zimfest 2018. We build stages and decorate them, we move instruments into classrooms, we put signs around campus, and so much more…

We literally build the festival!  Let’s do this!  Sign up on the Volunteers page.
This is a great way to get a head start on connecting with old friends and making new ones.

– Volunteers Intern Heron Stombock

Some other tidbits from the OC:

  • Housing and dining registration ends this Friday, July 20 at midnight. Tell your friends who’ve been putting it off to do it now before it’s too late! (Sorry, camping and RV spots have sold out.)
  • There’s a new chef in charge of WOU dining, offering a greater variety of options. Check out the weekly Valsetz menu.
  • We need some coolers for the indoor and outdoor Green Rooms. Please write to claire{at}zimfest{dot}org if you can bring one – especially one with wheels!

See you  there!
– Festival Coordinator Claire Jones

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Zimbabwean Guests

Greetings,

Many of you have heard that we have had sad news about several Zimbabwean teachers and performers who are unable to come to this year’s festival. Polyphony Marimba had applied for visas for Tawanda Mapanda and Barnabas Ngalande. Their petitions were still not approved by the time the group was ready to leave for their tour, so they had to abandon the applications. They will try again for next Zimfest! The OC has worked hard to engage several experienced teachers to take over their workshops or offer others in their place.  Please consult the Festival Updates and Workshop Changes page for all workshop adjustments and replacement teachers.

Jacob Mafuleni and Martha Thom, both veterans of prior Zimfests, were inexplicably denied their visas at the US Embassy in Harare. This was devastating news to Dana Moffett and Matanho Project, their sponsor, who worked very hard to bring Jacob and Martha back to the US. However, their son Abel Mafuleni has been granted his visa and is coming. We look forward to Abel’s workshops and performance representing the Mafuleni Family and Tsoro Arts. Again, check the website for Workshop Changes; you may find some enticing new offerings on the workshop schedule!

Finally, we are not out of the woods yet. Marimba specialist Patience Musandirire has received his visa and was intending to purchase his own plane ticket as he has no sponsor. However, because of the drastic shortage of foreign currency in Zimbabwe, he has been unable to acquire enough US dollars for the ticket. He needs financial assistance. What would help most at this point is for someone to help him by setting up a GoFundMe campaign here in the US. If you think you can help, please write to the OC as soon as possible at 2018 {at} zimfest {dot} org.

Music Dancing Across Borders
Help these folks cross the the border!

Claire Jones, Festival Coordinator
On behalf of the 2018 Organizing Committee

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Calling All Drums

Greetings Zimfest community,
A few quick messages from your Zimfest 2018 organizing committee:

  • As always, we are in need of hand drums – Zimbabwean style ngoma, congas or similar ones – for our drumming classes. Please let us know whether you can lend one or more by writing teachers{at}zimfest{dot}org or just bring them to the Registration desk Thursday Aug. 9 at the festival. We promise to take good care of them for the weekend!
  • For several years we have been racking our brains over how to organize the seating in the concert hall to provide both a dancing space and a sitting space with a view of the performers. It has been difficult during prior festivals for those who want to sit during the performances to actually see them, and we want to do better about this. Please spend a few minutes thinking about the problem and respond to this post with any creative ideas: write 2018{at}zimfest{dot}org.
  • Did you know Zimfest is run mostly by volunteers?  Yes!  It’s folks like you and me, lovers of Zimbabwean music, who share the experience of both ‘working’ the festival and ‘attending’! How can you help? Sign up NOW at the Volunteer Signup page to help with festival tasks!

Tatenda! Thank you! 
Zimfest 2018 OC

Music Dancing Across Borders

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Festival Reminders

Hello Zimfest Folks,

Happy Father’s Day! We still have another month to go before registration for Zimfest housing and meals closes on July 20th. While meals may be purchased in person by commuters, there is no guarantee that there will be any dorm rooms available to rent onsite, so be sure to sign up before the deadline. I can see that there are few camping/RV sites left, and once they are gone, no more can be made available. For those who are hoping for single rooms designated as ‘quiet’ in Ackerman Hall, we will be adding some 4th floor rooms to the registration menu very soon.
Some miscellaneous reminders:

    • To Teachers and Performers: the Organizing Committee reports that only one third of you have signed and returned your contracts or agreements. Please people, the new electronic contract is so convenient and easy, you can complete it on your smart phone! We need one of these signed by everyone who is teaching or performing before the festival. If you didn’t receive or cannot find your official acceptance email with the link to the contract/agreement, please write to teachers(at)zimfest(dot)org or performers(at)zimfest(dot)org as appropriate and ask for a replacement email to be sent.
    • Are any of you associated with non-profit organizations or for-profit businesses who would like to advertise in the 2018 Festival Guide? If so, please write to chatbetty(at)gmail(dot)com for information. Our prices are very reasonable – you can immortalize your business by placing an ad in the guide! Ads must be submitted to us by July 4.
    • Speaking of deadlines, Marketplace Vendor applications close July 16th. We would love to hear from you, vendors. Go to the Vendor Information and Application page to apply.

Enjoy the summer weather!

Best regards,
Claire and the 2018 Zimfest OC

Music Dancing Across Borders

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Zimfest Organizing Committee Notes

Dear Zimfest community,

Zimfest 2018 registration has been open nearly a month, and it’s time for a word from the organizing committee (OC).  After a frantic “feeding frenzy” the first few days, registrations have slowed down to a steady trickle; we are up to 259 registrations as I write this.  There have been a few bugs, but things have been proceeding smoothly the last couple of weeks. Please consult How to Register, and if you experience any problems registering, write to registration(at)zimfest(dot)org and an OC member will help you out. Workshop signups for Friday August 10 have been especially heavy, such that many workshops on the first day are already full. We have added two workshops and made some adjustments so that there are more spaces available that day. However, there are plenty of workshop spaces available on Sunday. A lot is happening on the final day of the festival, so make your plans to stick around and take advantage!

A few brief notes:

  • Check the Festival Updates and Workshop Changes page for notification of all workshop additions and adjustments.
  • The Concert Schedule has been posted on the website, and performer biographies will be available soon.
  • We are aware that the Zimfest 2018 location in Monmouth, OR can be difficult to get to on public transport. Use our Ride Board for offering or requesting rides from nearby destinations such as Portland and Salem.
  • If you have signed up for the workshops that you want, and checked the concert schedule for the bands you want to hear, now is the time to sign up for your volunteer shifts. If we have 259 registrants, we’d love to see 259 volunteers signed up – Zimfest runs on your energy!

See you in Monmouth in August,
Claire Jones and the Zimfest 2018 OC

Music Dancing Across Borders

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