Zimfest News Blog

Posts by Claire Jones

Zimfest Online Viewing Ends Nov 9

Hello Zimfest community,

Here’s hoping that you, like me, are breathing a huge sigh of relief and looking forward to a rosier 2021!

Monday November 9th is the last day to register for the final set of Zimfest Online presentation recordings. If you haven’t taken advantage of our online offerings, take a break from election news and politics in the next two days to learn a bit more about Zimbabwean music and story-telling! Don’t forget to send us feedback on any  presentations you attend by completing the online evaluation form (write us at online{at}zimfest{dot}org if you need help). 

The Zimfest Online Engagement Task Force will be taking a short break before pondering what form Zimfest might take in 2021 as the COVID pandemic continues. If you have ideas for us, please write to online{at}zimfest{dot}org or the ZA Board at board{at}zimfest{dot}org.

Stay well, stay safe, take it easy!

Zimfest Online 

 

 

(P.S. – have you seen the newest installment of our Zimfest is Family feature? It includes the newest member of the Zimfest community!)

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Upcoming Zimbabwean Music Online

Hello Zimfest community,

Our friends have notified us of a couple of upcoming online events featuring Zimbabwean musicians:

  • Zambezi Marimba Band – livestream tonight Fri, October 23, 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm Eastern Time (4:30 PDT). Featuring Tendai Muparutsa and the Zambezi Marimba Band of Williams College. For information and the livelink, see: https://events.williams.edu/event/zambezi-marimba-band-livestream/

  • Wamkanganise & Friends! Mbira Concert Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 5 pm PST – 6 pm PST (8 pm EST), hosted on Facebook by Wamkanganise naGaadza (aka Salani) and Kelly Takunda Orphan with musician friends Moeketsi Gibe (South Africa) and Augustine Basa (Zimbabwe). For information see the FB Event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/673018663351571/ and check back for a link to the Youtube stream on the day of the show. This event is part of the Eastman School of Music’s Barbara B. Smith World Music Concert Series. 

Don’t forget we are in the final three weeks of registration for Zimfest Online presentation recordings.

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Final Viewing Period for Zimfest Online

Hello good people,

Today (Oct 19)  is the last day you can register for and view the second set of Zimfest Online recordings. Tuesday October 20 is the beginning of the three-week registration and viewing period for the final three Zimfest Online sessions listed below, ending November 9.  

  • Anesu Ndoro – Animality & Humanity: Zimbabwe’s Folktales As Avenues For Social Reflection

  • Claire Jones – A Social and Acoustic History of the Kwanongoma Marimba in Zimbabwe

  • Tedd Judd – Wrapping the Western Mind, Body, Soul, and Community Around Zimbabwean Music

Check out complete descriptions of all the sessions along with presenter biographies on the Zimfest Online page. Once you register for a recording (donation requested), you will be able to view it at any time you wish during the three-week period it is available.

P.S. Be on the lookout for the next edition of Zimfest is Family, featuring the newest member of the Zimfest Family!  Coming soon!

VOTE          VOTE         VOTE         VOTE         VOTE

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Magaya Memorial Invitation

Posted on behalf of Kutsinhira Cultural Arts Center

Dear Friends,

We at Kutsinhira Cultural Arts Center deeply mourn the passing of the great mbira player Sekuru Cosmas Magaya, our long-time teacher and friend, who died on July 10, 2020, after contracting COVID-19. 

We are planning an International Zoom Memorial to honor Sekuru Magaya on October 10 and invite you to join us. As we are able to accommodate only 250 connections in addition to our presenters, we are asking that you RSVP to let us know that you would like to join (please see instructions below).

The approximately 2.5-hour memorial will take place on Saturday, October 10, 2020, beginning at 10:30 am PDT and at 7:30 pm Harare time. 

Our presenters will include many family members, close friends, hosts, and mbira students who consider Sekuru Magaya to be a major inspiration in their lives.

Program

10:30 am/7:30 pm: Begin slide show accompanied by recordings of Sekuru Magaya, while people connect. We highly recommend joining early to enjoy the beautiful slide show created by Mark Cohen, featuring Sekuru Magaya’s US visits 1998-2018 and accompanied by his solo mbira recording, Anoyimba.

11:00 am/8:00 pm: Brief greeting, introduction. State intention to record.

Opening Prayer by Fradreck Mujuru, live from Zimbabwe

11:15 am/8:15 pm: Musical and spoken tributes, 3-5 minutes each.  Most or all of these will be pre-recorded, and in a pre-set order. We will begin with Magaya family and friends contributing from Zimbabwe.

12:30 pm/9:30pm: (or whenever planned program finishes) – invite other attendees to contribute spontaneously (by request via the Zoom chat box)

Approximately 1:00 pm PDT (10:00 pm Harare time): Closing

If you would like to join us for this event, please fill out the brief registration form at:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdlJQIM7O2jWcQWRi5H5ZsPccJopZsMCGvHr4LiYjucJKD-Kw/viewform

If you have any problem accessing the form, you can instead write an email to mkolo{at}kutsinhira{dot}org with your name, email address, brief description of your connection with Cosmas (e.g., “mbira student,” “university host,” “longtime friend,” etc.).  It will be helpful if you can use the form though.

Please do not register again if you have already received an invitation and registered.

We will send you the Zoom link and some helpful Zoom hints 2-3 days before the event.

When you click on that link any time between 10:25am PDT and the end of the Memorial Zoom, you will join in a Waiting Room and soon after admitted to the event by our tech people.

Please do NOT publish this link on social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.).  If you know of others who would like to attend, please ask them to send us an email requesting the link.

Kutsinhira Cultural Arts Center and the Magaya family retain all rights to the recording of this event, and we plan to share it with those who are unable to attend the live session.

We look forward to sharing this time with you.

Best regards,

Marilyn Kolodziejczyk and Memorial Committee (Tsitsi Hantuba, Lynne Swift, Janis Weeks)

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Zimfest Online 2nd Viewing Period

Dear Zimfest community,

Reminding you that Monday, Sept 28, is the last day you can register for and view the first three Zimfest Online recordings. Tuesday Sept 29 is the beginning of the three-week viewing period for the next four Zimfest Online sessions, ending October 19.  

  • Linos Wengara Magaya with Tim Lloyd – The Role of the Mbira Within Shona Spiritual Culture

  • Jeff Brahe – Fundamentals of African Rhythm: Triplet (12/8) Version

  • Tanga Pasi (Sinini and Pamela Ngwenya) – Tanga Pasi from Zimbabwe to Germany

  • Zivanai Masango – Mvenge Mvenge Dance Party with Zi

The first two are presentations, and registrants this month have let us know they have appreciated being able to view and the study the material at their leisure. The final two, Tanga Pasi and Zi’s Mvenge Mvenge dance party, are concert sessions – enjoy dancing with Zi and Helen! 

Check out complete descriptions of all the sessions along with presenter biographies on the Zimfest Online page. Once you register for a recording (donation requested), you will be able to view it at any time you wish during the three-week period it is available.

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Zimfest Live recordings access

Greetings Zimfest community,

Our first series of live Zimfest Online educational and performance sessions has concluded. For those of you who missed one or more, we are providing on-demand access to the video recordings on a donation basis. There will be 3 viewing periods with a different set of videos available during each three-week period. Registration is open now for the first three videos available to view from September 8 – 28:

  • Tapiwa Kapurura – Culture as Social Glue in a Challenged Community

  • Claire Jones – Mbira in Zimbabwean Popular Music: An Historical Perspective

  • Tendai Muparutsa – World Music Ensemble: Directing a College Marimba Band – A Williams College Experience

Check out complete descriptions of all the sessions along with presenter biographies on the Zimfest Online page. Once you register for a recording, you will be able to view it at any time you wish during the three-week period it is available.

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Good Vibes Concert Sept 5 and more

Hello  Zimfesters,

We are pleased to call your attention to Taffie Matiure’s GoodVibes Concert, a fundraiser to establish a mbira school for children in the Ruwa Community in Zimbabwe. The live broadcast will be held on September 5, 2020 on Taffie’s Youtube page starting at 12pm PT/ 3pm EST/ 20 CAT. The event is co-sponsored by Zimbuya.com, and during the broadcast a link to their website donations page will be shared. 

 

The Zimfest Online live presentations are over for now, but for those of you who missed one or more, we will be providing online access to the video recordings. Be on the lookout for Zimfest Online Registration to open by September 8 for recordings of the first three presentations in June. 

Enjoy the summer days! 

Zimfest Online crew

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August Zimfest Online

Dear Zimfest community,

Two final live presentations wrap up our Zimfest Online festival season this month! Both take place on Saturdays at 5 p.m. PDT. 

  • Aug 22: (Dr.) Claire Jones presents A Social and Acoustic History of the Kwanongoma Marimba in Zimbabwe. Claire’s dynamic look at 50 years of marimbas in Zimbabwe invites your participation. Can you name these tunes?
  • Aug 29: (Dr.) Tedd Judd presents Wrapping the Western Mind, Body, Soul, and Community Around Zimbabwean Music. Ever wondered how we make melodic sense of streams of notes coming from players’ thumbs and hands? – there is a scientific basis to this (follow the science)!  Tedd gets into reasons why many Americans have a difficult time hearing the complex rhythms of marimba and mbira music, but how approaching it like Zimbabweans do is so enriching. 

Please be aware that if you sign up for a session and cannot attend, you can be given access to view the recording. Write to online{at}zimfest{dot}org for assistance.

Continue staying safe and finding ways to connect musically and otherwise!

Zimfest Online Engagement Crew

 

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Zimfest Online August 9 – 29, 2020

Hello Zimfest Folks,

Our Zimfest weekend concert sessions with Sinini and Pamela Ngwenya (July 31), and Zivanai Masango and Helen Masvikeni (August 1) were wonderful, and Dr. Jennifer Kyker continues her teaching of Musekiwa’s mbira version of “Kari Mugomba” with a singing lesson August 9 (today, at 5 PM!). We have registration ready with three more original Zimfest Online presentations for this month. They will take place on Saturday afternoons at 5 PM PDT.

  • Aug 15: Reed College student Anesu Ndoro on “Animality & Humanity: Zimbabwe’s Folktales As Avenues For Social Reflection”
  • Aug 22: Dr. Claire Jones on “A Social and Acoustic History of the Kwanongoma Marimba in Zimbabwe”
  • Aug 29: Dr. Tedd Judd on “Wrapping the Western Mind, Body, Soul, and Community Around Zimbabwean Music”

Register now, we hope to see you online! In September we will advertise opportunities to view the recordings of our most popular Zimfest Online presentations on a donation basis.

Zimfest Online Task Force

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Don’t Miss Zimfest Online Events This Weekend!

Greetings all,

Zimfest weekend is almost upon us! To make up for the COVID-19 cancellation of the physical festival, we have scheduled online activities throughout the weekend. Please join us by registering (donate whatever you can afford!) through Zimfest Online for:

  • July 31 – Tanga Pasi from Zimbabwe to GermanySinini and Pamela Ngwenya present a hybrid live/taped concert. 
  •  August 1 – Mvenge Mvenge Dance Party with Zivanai Masango!
  • August 2 – Mbira lesson with Musekiwa Chingodza/Dr. Jennifer Kyker by proxy. (Companion singing lesson to follow on Aug 9.)

We have a few more Zimfest Online presentations to schedule during the month of August, and there has been a request to change the time for these presentations from 1 PM to 5 PM PST. Please let us know in the comments section below whether or not that would work for you.

We had a great Conversation/Interview with Lucky Moyo last Saturday! The recording is available for free on the Zimfest YouTube channel as well as the Overview page. Those who wish to donate can do so on Lucky’s (UK) Facebook page.  Alternatively, to support organizations like Bana BeNgwana Trust, you can donate to Kutsinhira’s Zimbabwe Community Development Program.   ZCDP supports community development, health and educational efforts in Zimbabwe like BeNgwana Trust’s building and borehole projects. 

Thank you for your support of Zimbabwean artists and development projects!

 

Zimfest Online

 

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Zimfest Online for July 30 – Aug 2

Greetings friends,

If the fast-approaching dates of July 30 – August 2 sound familiar, it is because that is the weekend when Zimfest 2020 (Live) was to have taken place! We are responding to the hunger for real music (and not just talking about music) by scheduling three virtual concert and mbira events, described in full on the Zimfest Online page. Registration is now open for these sessions.

  •  July 31 – Tanga Pasi:  Sinini and Pamela Ngwenya, based in Germany, present a hybrid live/taped concert. Check out a YouTube video here
  •  August 1 – Mvenge Mvenge Dance Party with Zivanai Masango!
  • August 2 – Mbira lesson with Musekiwa Chingodza/Dr. Jennifer Kyker by proxy. (Companion singing lesson to follow on Aug 9.)

Don’t forget the Free Zoom interview/conversation between Claire Jones and long-time Zimfest teacher and advisor Lucky Moyo July 25 at 1 p.m. PDT (9 p.m.UK time). Lucky will talk about how he came to cultural activism and his ongoing project Bana BeNgwana Development Trust. More details can be found on Facebook. The event will be on Zoom, and a link will be posted here and on Facebook two hours before the event.

Claire Jones
Zimfest Coordinator

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Sekuru Cosmas Magaya 1953-2020

Joining with mbira students and enthusiasts around the world, Zimfest deeply mourns the loss of Sekuru Cosmas Magaya, who was laid to rest at Magaya village in Mhondoro, Zimbabwe, on the 13th of July 2020.  He was one of the last of the revered senior generation of gwenyambiras, loved by all who knew him, and an important teacher to many of us in the Zimfest community.  His mbira playing was both powerful and profoundly rooted in his spiritual traditions.

Sekuru Magaya played an integral role in the research of ethnomusicologist Paul Berliner’s award-winning book The Soul of Mbira (1978), through which he first became known worldwide. After that book’s publication, he taught and performed countless times internationally in Europe and the US. His long-anticipated book collaborations with Paul Berliner, The Art of Mbira: Musical Inheritance and Legacy (2020)  and Mbira’s Restless Dance are being published this year by the University of Chicago Press, to enthusiastic acclaim.

Sekuru Magaya participated in 11 Zimbabwean Music Festivals beginning in 1998, as a teacher, performer, and respected elder who led opening ceremonies and served as a shining example for Zimbabweans new to U.S. touring.  He was a true and open-hearted cultural ambassador.

To support Sekuru Magaya’s family during this time, Kutsinhira Cultural Arts Center in Eugene, Oregon, has established a memorial fund in his name. To learn more and donate to this fund, please follow this link

 

Zororai murugare – Rest in Peace 

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