Zimfest News Blog

Posts by Zimfest Organizing Committee

January Board Meeting Minutes

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

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Less Than 1 Week To Go

Less Than 1 Week To Go

Marimba … Mbira … Dance … Song … Drum
Hosho … Guitar … Chipendani … Presentations

drumming workshopLast day for online workshop registration is August 3rd

Marimba … Mbira … Dance … Song … Drum
Hosho … Guitar … Chipendani … Presentations

marimba workshopmarimba workshop

Marimba … Mbira … Dance … Song … Drum
Hosho … Guitar … Chipendani … Presentations

mbira workshopmbira workshop

Marimba … Mbira … Dance … Song … Drum
Hosho … Guitar … Chipendani … Presentations

Last day for online workshop registration is August 3rddance workshop

Marimba … Mbira … Dance … Song … Drum
Hosho … Guitar … Chipendani … Presentations

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Volunteer Request

Zimfest is just two weeks away! The Organizing Committee is eagerly watching volunteer sign-ups to learn who can help pull final festival details together on Wednesday and Thursday, August 10 and 11.

Are you arriving in Monmouth on Wednesday or Thursday? If so, we can use your help setting up – particularly WORKSHOP INSTRUMENT SETUP, GENERAL FESTIVAL SETUP, SIGNAGE SETUP and COMPUTER ASSIST (at registration). If you do not have a task preference, sign up for a shift at the VOLUNTEER TABLE. Every task scheduled on Wednesday and Thursday is our first priority to fill.

Sign up here: https://zimfest.org/vol/volunteer-tasks/. With your assistance, we look forward to preparing the space for another fabulous Zimfest!

“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.” —Oscar Wilde

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Calling All Mbira Players … and Adventurers

Calling all mbira players and "what is an mbira, maybe I would like to try it" adventurers

We have a marvelous lineup of mbira teachers at Zimfest this year and a spot just for you! From beginning workshops to advanced, from traditional songs to new and unusual instruments.

photo-two-mbiras-smallphoto-mbira-in-deze-smallphoto-nyunga-nyunga-small

Our group of 7 teachers include 4 who are Zimbabwean and are highlighted below:

Photo of Musekiwa ChingodzaMusekiwa Chingodza was born into a family of great mbira players in Mwangara village, Murewa, Zimbabwe. He began playing mbira at the age of five and is self-taught. Through listening to other gwenyambira, or great mbira players, he developed a strong attachment to and love for mbira music. This year, Musekiwa introduces a nyunga nyunga with an extra key which broadens the instrument’s repertoire. Read more…

Video of Musekiwa

Photo of Moyo Rainos MutambaMoyo Rainos Mutamba grew up mostly in the Ndau/Karanga-speaking areas of Zimbabwe, immersed in muchongoyo, maduda and ngororombe drumming and dance. He fell in love with mbira from hearing his great-uncle play at family gatherings and from recordings on ZBC Radio 2. Moyo has just returned from Zimbabwe from a three-month mbira mentorship immersion with Garikayi Tirikoti where he learnt Tirikoti’s seven-mbira orchestra. Read more…

Photo of Chakaipa MhembereChakaipa Mhembere was born in Chegutu, Mhondoro, Zimbabwe. He started playing mbira when he was four years old. His totem is “Shumba”, and he has played with Thomas Mapfumo since 1995. Now based in Eugene Oregon, Chaka works with the mbira group Mudzidzi. Read more…

Video of Chaka

photo-mbira-in-deze-smallClayton Master was born in Mbare (Harare) Zimbabwe in a family of seven. All of them have something to do with the lovely arts of Zimbabwe. He began teaching dance at 16 years old, then moved to Victoria Falls to work full-time performing mbira and dancing. He also taught djembe drums for several years in Victoria Falls. Clayton is currently based in Fort Collins, Colorado. Read more…

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Announcing Zimfest 2016

Registration is now open for the 25th Zimbabwean Music Festival in North America.

The festival is an annual celebration of Zimbabwean music and culture. A fun-filled four-day weekend of concerts, workshops, community conversations, a marketplace, late night mbira & jamming parties, and more; Zimfest is the largest annual gathering in North America of students, teachers, performers, and fans of Zimbabwean music.

Zimfest 2016 will be held August 11-14 at Western Oregon University in Monmouth, Oregon. Just west of Salem, the WOU campus provides an attractive and comfortable site. Housing, camping, and meals are available on-campus.

How to Register

Register for festival workshops, concert tickets, housing and meals at https://register.zimfest.org. Workshops can be viewed by teacher, type of workshop, or day and time.

Detailed information about the festival is available at https://zimfest.org. The volunteer signup can also be found there.

Volunteerism is at the heart of every Zimfest. All festival attendees can help by volunteering for a task or two. Volunteers help organize and run the entire festival!

Zimbabwean Guests

Zimbabweans joining us at Zimfest to teach and/or perform for the first time include:

  • Edmonton-based group Mbira Renaissance led by Chakanaka Zinyemba
  • Marimba specialist Simba Kamuriwo
  • Dancer/mbira/hosho player Clayton Master
  • Cultural educators Victoria and Tapiwa Kapurura

Traveling from abroad to be with us are:

  • Popular mbira virtuoso and teacher Musekiwa Chingodza (coming from Zimbabwe)
  • Kwanongoma graduate and marimba expert Michael Sibanda (based in South Africa)
  • Multi-talented vocalist and dancer Lucky Moyo (travelling from England)

(As always at this point in time, visas or travel plans are still pending for several of these artists.)

We extend a hearty welcome to the following North American-based Zimbabwean teachers and performers:

  • Clayton Pasi Gunguwo
  • Mandla Kaunda
  • Zivanai Masango
  • Paul Mataruse
  • Chakaipa Mhembere
  • Kurai Blessing Mubaiwa
  • Muchineripi family band Chihera
  • Samuel Mukwedeya
  • Moyo Rainos Mutamba

After an absence of several years, we are ecstatic to welcome back to the Zimfest fold:

  • Chinyakare Ensemble, led by the incomparable Julia Chigamba. Say hello again to Chigamba family members Augusten Basa, Gerald Basa, Kanukai Chigamba and Ronnie Daliyo; and the equally talented non-Zimbabwean Chinyakare members Cathy Crystal, Casey Daliyo, Moeketsi Gibe, Russell Landers, DeLisa Nealy, and Sarah Noll.

Concerts

Zimfest concerts occur from Thursday evening through Sunday night.

Opening Ceremony & Free Concert on the Outdoor Stage:
Thursday 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Following the opening ceremony, Nyemwerero will set the tone of the festival with the dynamic sound of Musekiwa Chingodza on mbira, joined by Zivanai Masango and other members of ZiMBiRA!

Free Afternoon Concerts on the Outdoor Stage:
Friday Noon to 5:00 p.m.
Saturday Noon to 5:30 p.m.
Sunday Noon to 5:30 p.m.

Evening Concerts (Ticketed, Indoors):
Friday 7:30 to Midnight
Saturday 7:30 to Midnight
Sunday 7:30 to Midnight

African Marketplace

Come visit the Zimfest 2016 Marketplace and explore the wonderful assortment of African art, clothing, crafts, musical instruments, CDs, and DVDs available for purchase. Relax on the broad grassy lawn and enjoy the music from the afternoon concert stage as you shop for special treasures. The Marketplace also provides an opportunity to learn about and support nonprofit organizations that are working with the people of Zimbabwe. Your purchases from these nonprofits will benefit many lives in Zimbabwe. The Marketplace will be open Friday 10:00-5:00, Saturday 10:00-5:30, and Sunday noon-5:30.

Workshops

Valuing education as well as performance, Zimfest attracts Zimbabwean music and culture experts from around the world to teach festival participants. Zimfest offers a large selection of workshops at all skill levels in marimba, mbira, hosho, singing, dance, drumming, guitar, chipendani, and makwa (clapping), as well as a variety of cultural presentations. Details and registration are available at https://register.zimfest.org.

Sing-Dance-Play! Tambai Tambai! Dlala-Dlala!

Zimfest 2016 will celebrate the theme “Sing-Dance-Play! Tambai Tambai! Dlala-Dlala!” In Zimbabwe you only need one word to say “Play (music)” or “Dance” or “Play (have fun)”: Tambai if you speak chiShona, or Dlala in isiNdebele. What could be more appropriate to describe the three-and-a-half days of Zimbabwean-inflected music, dance, song, culture and fun that is the Zimbabwean Music Festival? Come sing-dance-play with us August 11-14. Tambai! Dlala!

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Final Announcement Before Zimfest 2015

Dear Zimfest Community,

This will be our final announcement before Zimfest 2015 launches on Thursday August 13. The excitement is building, but there is still much to do! We have a few comments and reminders for Zimfest participants, whether you are new to the festival or an old hand:

  • The weather forecast for Monmouth OR is for temperatures in the high 70s on Thursday, increasing to the 80s next weekend. Be sure to put on sunscreen and bring fans for your rooms. Like most colleges, Western Oregon University has no air conditioning in the dorms or most of the classrooms.
  • Zimfest supplies (borrowed) marimbas and hosho for workshops, but it can be challenging procuring enough instruments for the many types of workshops we offer. If you have or can borrow a mbira in the tuning a workshop will be taught in, please bring it; otherwise the teacher or Zimfest will provide one. The same goes for drumming workshops; if you own or can borrow a drum for a workshop you are taking, please bring it. We are also requesting those can lend drums for our workshops to please do so. If you are taking a guitar workshop and have a guitar amp, please bring it as Zimfest cannot provide amps.
  • Zimfest online registration for housing, dining and workshops is now closed, but you may still sign up for volunteer shifts at https://zimfest.org/volunteer/list/. Onsite registration will open at the festival at noon on Thursday. You will be able at that point to rent rooms or additional nights in your already-reserved rooms, purchase camping passes and/or enroll in workshops that still have space in them. You can no longer drop workshops that you have signed up and paid for; see rules about workshops and cancellations at https://zimfest.org/wksps/about-workshops/ (scroll down to the bottom).
  • Very often bands performing at Zimfest like to sell their CDs after their shows. If you are on the outdoor stage in the afternoon, the Kutsinhira people may be able to sell your CD for you; inquire at the Kutsinhira Booth in the marketplace. If you are performing on the Evening concert stage, Zimfest can provide table space in the WUC West Lobby outside the Pacific Room concert hall. Please provide your own CD salespeople, as Zimfest volunteers have other tasks to carry out and cannot sell CDs for you.

Thanks for reading, and see you at the festival!

Enduring Rhythms ~ Gathering in Harmony

Zimfest 2015 Organizing Committee

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Zimfest Workshop Cancellations

Hello Zimfest community,

Yesterday was the deadline for cancellation of workshops with low enrollments. Please check the Workshop Changes page (https://zimfest.org/news/festival-updates/#workshop-changes) for a list of cancellations and changes. If you have been dropped from a cancelled workshop and have Zimfest credit, browse the workshop list for a replacement. There are still many open workshops in all categories: dance, mbira, marimba, presentations, songs and games!

You will have until August 5th to register for any open workshops, drop workshops or transfer to other workshops. On that date, workshop registrations will be frozen until the festival and no changes will be allowed. 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.) See the page About Workshops for more information on cancellations and situations in which you may apply for a refund (https://zimfest.org/wksps/about-workshops/).

Enjoy the blue moon tonight!
Zimfest 2015 Organizing Committee
Enduring Rhythms ~ Gathering in Harmony

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Zimfest Reminders

Dear Zimfest Community,

Here are a few reminders:

Festival volunteers needed: Please log on to online registration to choose a volunteer task and time. Shifts are still available in every area — registration, concerts, workshops & marketplace. Go to: https://zimfest.org/volunteer/list/ (the program will not allow you to double-book workshops and volunteer shifts).

Housing registration closes July 28: Tuesday is the last day you can pre-register for on-campus housing, camping and meals. Go to: https://zimfest.org/location/housing/ for information on WOU housing.

Low enrollment workshops: We have had to cancel some workshops with low enrollment now to help ensure the best possible enrollment in the remaining workshops. If you have been thinking of taking a class that might be on the cusp, sign up now! Online registration for workshops will close on August 6.

Concert schedules are online at https://zimfest.org/overview/concerts/

Zimfest 2015 Organizing Committee
Enduring Rhythms ~ Gathering in Harmony

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Zimfest 2015 Volunteer Signup is Live

Dear Zimfest Community,

Our Volunteer Sign-up page has now been integrated into the new website and is live! If you have already registered for Zimfest and were unable to sign up to volunteer, you may now log in, browse the volunteer tasks and sign up for shifts at https://zimfest.org/volunteer/list/. Further information is available at https://zimfest.org/vol/why-and-how-to-sign-up/.

The Workshop Coordinators have also added some new workshops as many of our marimba classes have filled up. Please check the workshop changes page at https://zimfest.org/news/festival-updates/#workshop-changes for new offerings.

Thank you for pitching in to help. Volunteers make our festival go!
Enduring Rhythms ~ Gathering in Harmony

The Zimfest 2015 Organizing Committee

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Zimfest Registration and Memberships

We have had a tremendous response since Zimfest registration went live last week! Some of our marimba workshops are already filling up and we have added a second session of one at the Advanced beginner level. We would love to see more people enrolling in classes on other instruments besides marimba, and have added a guitar workshop to be taught by Matt Gordon. We also have many tremendous offerings in dance and cultural presentations. You can find announcements of these and all future workshop changes at the Festival Updates and Workshop Changes page.

For those of you who have been frustrated trying to purchase a Zimfest membership, the link to the Membership and Donations page has been repaired! Membership in the Zimfest Association gives you a waiver on the festival registration fee and helps support the Association and festival itself. We are grateful for any donations (all tax-deductible) above the cost of membership.

Join us at Zimfest 2015
Enduring Rhythms ~ Gathering in Harmony

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Zimfest 2015 Registration Is Open

Dear Zimfest Community,

Registration is now live for the 24th Annual Zimbabwean Music Festival in Monmouth, OR, August 13-16, 2015.

The festival offers three days of workshops on diverse aspects of Zimbabwean culture, free afternoon concerts, an African Marketplace and ticketed evening concerts.

Go to zimfest.org for the festival program and register for workshops, housing, meals and concert tickets. Performance schedules, still being determined, will be available soon.

Valuing education as well as performance, Zimfest attracts Zimbabwean music and culture experts from around the world to teach festival participants. Workshops are available on everything from basic Shona drumming to traditional dance to the ancient sounds of mbira and the irresistible, effervescent marimba.

Featured Zimbabweans: Master mbira players Patience Munjeri and Vitalis Botsa; marimba specialists Patience Musandirire and Paul Mataruse; multi-instrumentalist Kurai Blessings Mubaiwa; the electric duo Mbira Spirit; dancer Rujeko Dumbutshena and guitarist extraordinaire Zivanai Masango.

North American Performers: Anzanga Marimba Ensemble; Erica Azim; Chris Berry; Boka Marimba; Mahonyera Mbira Ensemble; Pachi Pamwe (mbira and guitar); Ruzivo; ZiMBira and many more.

Zimfest 2015 celebrates the theme “Enduring Rhythms ~ Gathering in Harmony.” Experience the power of African music and dance to bring people together in a full three and a half days of Zimbabwean-inflected music, dance, song, culture and fun!

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Zimfest 2015 Theme and Call for Artwork Submissions

Greetings Zimfest Community,

Zimfest 2015 will celebrate the theme “Enduring Rhythms ~ Gathering in Harmony.” In choosing this theme, the 2015 organizing committee has been inspired by the power of Zimbabwean music and dance to bring people together and build community. We are inviting you to submit designs and artwork related to this theme for use on the Zimfest 2015 poster, Festival Guide, t-shirts and other promotional material. Your design should also reference Zimbabwean performing art in one or more of its many manifestations (marimba, mbira, dance, etc.).

Please submit your designs electronically to gro.t1490751424sefmi1490751424z@kro1490751424wtra1490751424 by March 1, 2015. The organizing committee will make its selections by March 15, 2015. Send your artwork via e-mail as a high-resolution image in digital format (JPG preferred); do not embed the image into a Power Point or PDF. Please include your full name and telephone number with your submission. If your image is chosen as the principal design for this year’s festival, you will receive an honorarium of $100 and a Zimfest 2015 t-shirt. The winning artist will be featured in the Festival guide. In addition, full credit will be given to other artists whose submissions are used elsewhere.

The artwork will be judged on the following criteria:

  1. It meets all specifications in this call for artwork
  2. It is considered the best representation of the theme “Enduring Rhythms ~ Gathering in Harmony”

Legal Considerations:
By submitting your work to the 2015 Organizing Committee, you grant the Zimfest Association an irrevocable, perpetual license to reproduce the submitted work in whole or in part in any medium, electronic, physical or otherwise. You must be willing to modify or allow a graphic artist to alter the winning entry for use on our printed materials. The original work will become the property of Zimfest Association, who will assume all rights to future reproduction of the work for promotional and fundraising purposes.

See you in Monmouth, OR in August!
Zimfest 2015 Organizing Committee

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