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Zimfest 2018 Registration Is Open May 3

Dear Zimfest community,
We are pleased to announce the launch of Zimfest 2018 online registration today, May 3 at 5:00 a.m.! Go to the How to Register page on our website for links to all Festival offerings, tips on negotiating our new registration system, and the button for New Registrations (see “Register using RegFox”). More advanced topics including registering multiple people and making changes to your registration are also addressed on this page.

Further information about Zimfest 2018 programming will emerge in the weeks to come, but we’d like to point out one of the strengths of this year’s workshop schedule right now: the large number of workshops that integrate marimba with singing, dancing, drumming and/or hosho. These sessions, offered by Zimfest teachers in response to our Call for Applications, bring home to students the reality of musical practice in Zimbabwe, the fact that music and dance are rarely separate activities. Teachers, get your students dancing and singing along with marimba from middle school onward, just like Zimbabweans! To be fair to all registrants, we are asking leaders of student groups to not register members of their groups for more than half the maximum enrollment of any specific workshop. Thus, if a marimba workshop has a maximum enrollment of 8, no one group should register for more than 4 of the spots.

Heads-up: you will find the following features of the 2018 registration system different from previous years:

  • We are charging room rental by the room, not by the person, and the first person to register will be charged the entire rental amount for the number of days the room is to be occupied (the other person is “the roommate”). Please be aware that you will not be able to choose specific rooms as in past years. See On-Campus Housing for details.
  • WOU is requiring that all participants rooming in the dorms for one or more nights purchase one of three meal cards. Requirements and plans are described in detail on the On-Campus Dining.
  • Registration is to be paid with credit cards (not PayPal) this year. You will need to pay in full at the time of registration; you cannot hold rooms or places in workshops without paying for them.

See you in Monmouth, August 9-12!
Claire Jones, Zimfest Coordinator

Zimfest 2018 – Music Dancing Across Borders

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Zimfest 2018 Delay of Registration

Hello Zimfest community,

The Zimfest 2018 Organizing Committee and Tech Team will not be going live with online registration today, our target date of May 1. We have discovered some issues with our new registration software and want to make sure we can work around them to make the registration process go as smoothly as possible. Look for another message later this week (possibly as early as tomorrow!) that registration is open.

The good news is that we are pleased to have completed most Zimfest 2018 content and supporting information and published it on the website. You are welcome now to browse through the Workshop List, acquaint yourself with the 2018 teachers, and/or explore the 2018 festival website for information about the schedule and housing and dining options. The 2018 homepage is a good place to start your explorations.

      • Don’t forget that the Registration Fee (now $15) is waived for Zimfest Association members. Become a ZA member now or renew your membership before you register for Zimfest 2018. An individual membership costs $25; there are special rates for couples and families, and a teacher membership for leaders of student groups.
      • Announcing festival events on the website: We are excited this year to present a panel discussion on the topic of Cultural Appropriation. This will take place Saturday morning August 11 from 9:30 to 11:30 when no workshops or concerts will be happening. All Zimfest participants are invited to attend.
      • Browse the volunteer tasks to decide how you’d like to contribute at the festival, or claim your shift(s) now on the Volunteer Signup page.
      • Reminder: Vendor applications are open on the website. We look forward to a varied and exciting African Marketplace this year!

Look for more news very soon,

Your Zimfest 2018 Organizing Committee &
The Fabulous Zimfest Tech Team

Zimfest 2018 – Music Dancing Across Borders

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Zimfest 2018 Updates

Greetings Zimfest community,
Following the end of the application period, March and April have been very busy and productive times for the Zimfest 2018 Organizing Committee and Tech Team. As we work towards the target date of May 1 to open online registration, we want to let you know that:

  • Vendor applications for the Marketplace are now being accepted on the Vendor Information and Application page on the website. The deadline for vendor applications is July 16, 2018.
  • The Organizing Committee has announced this year’s Zimbabwean guest teachers and performers on the 2018 homepage – a truly stunning and star-studded lineup!
  • While you are on the Zimfest 2018 homepage, please note that we have been adding informational pages as they become available. Click on the overhead menus for the festival schedule, housing and dining info, etc.
  • We received what might be a record number of workshop proposals and performance applications, requiring difficult decisions on the part of the Organizing Committee. We now have a workshop grid and tentative performance schedule, and teachers and performers are being notified of the status of their applications . Contracts will be sent later in the month.

Enjoy the spring weather!
Claire and the Organizing Committee

Zimfest 2018: Music Dancing Across Borders

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Applications Deadline Looming

Hello Zimfest community,

With the winter holidays over, and Valentine’s Day behind us, it’s a perfect time to make summer plans. Join us as a teacher at Zimfest 2018!

The deadline for Zimfest applications is February 28, one short week.  Make a difference to the festival by applying to share something you know – we especially need marimba teachers at Beginner, Novice and Intermediate levels.

Photo courtesy of YAAMBA

For information and the link to the applications, see https://zimfest.org/overview/teacher-application-information/

Zimfest 2018: Music Dancing Across Borders

 

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Submit Your Zimfest 2018 Applications

Greetings Zimfest community! Salibonani! Mhoroi!

We are waiting for your applications to teach and perform at Zimfest 2018. You have one short month before applications close on February 28, 2018.

Check out the fabulous Zimfest 2018 graphic by Rachel Edson on the 2018 webpage. Let us know if you would like a pile of these Save the Date cards to distribute in your community.

And as always, we’d love your help organizing and producing Zimfest 2018! Write volunteers[at]zimfest[dot]org to find out what you can do.

Best regards,
Claire and the 2018 Zimfest Organizing Committee

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In Loving Memory

Dear Zimfest Community,
The Zimfest Association Board regrets to announce the passing of our friend Karen Wolf. Karen was a beloved member of the NW Washington Zimbabwean music community. She also loved Zimfest and was a committed volunteer. We will miss her warmth and beautiful photographs of the festival. Our deepest condolences go to her family and friends. May her soul rest in peace.

Sincerely,
– ZA Board of Directors

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Zimfest Applications are Open

Dear Zimfest Community,

Online applications are now open for the 2018 Zimbabwean Music Festival. To apply to teach or perform at this year’s festival, follow links on the Zimfest 2018 home page or go directly to the Teacher Application Information and/or Performer Application Information pages. The ZA Tech committee has done a great job finding appropriate software and formatting the applications so that they are very user friendly. You should find that it is just as easy to fill out the applications using a smart phone as it is on a computer. Unlike previous years, you will not need a Google account to log in.

Each year we seek to offer a balance of workshops, including singing, dancing, drumming, marimba, several types of mbira and a variety of cultural presentations. In response to desires expressed by Zimfest participants for marimba workshops in which students improvise on commonly-known songs, we are encouraging teachers to propose workshops in the form of curated jam sessions; these are best offered at intermediate and advanced levels. We would also love to see workshops (especially from Zimbabwean instructors!) that integrate and relate marimba to singing, dancing, drumming and/or hosho, to bring home to American students the awareness that these music and dance activities are rarely separate in Zimbabwe. Send us your ideas, whether stand-alone or linked workshops, and we’ll see what we can schedule!

Don’t forget to mark your calendars for Zimfest 2018, August 9-12 at Western Oregon University in Monmouth, OR. Please remember that the festival needs your volunteer help! If you are interested in volunteering, please write gro.t1527081601sefmi1527081601z@sre1527081601etnul1527081601ov1527081601

Happy New Year from the 2018 Organizing Committee!
Best regards, Claire Jones
Zimfest Coordinator
gro.t1527081601sefmi1527081601z@eri1527081601alc1527081601

Music Dancing Across Borders

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Call for Zimfest Interns

Dear Zimfest Community,
Have you ever wondered how many people it takes to organize Zimfest? At the Zimfest 2016 Village Meeting the idea of experienced volunteers mentoring new folks was brought up. That afternoon as the festival wound down, I threw out an offer to Volunteer Coordinator Carla Starck to help with the next one.

Fast forward to now. Zimfest 2018 is on the horizon, and Carla has taken me up on my offer to act as the Volunteer Coordinator intern. I’m so honored to be part of the dedicated and spirited organizing team. We want to offer this experience to others and are putting out a call for Zimfest lovers to shadow experienced volunteers, learning the ropes and sharing the opportunity to make the next Zimfest even better.

Our most immediate need is for an intern to assist the Workshop Coordinator, as teacher applications and workshop proposals will start coming in soon. This is an exciting position, particularly if you would like to have input in the offerings, and love the idea of creating a better experience. This internship could be split into pre-festival and onsite jobs, possibly shared by two people. Let’s talk!*

Now back to the original question of how many people it takes to make Zimfest happen? Literally hundreds—people like you and me.

Heron Stombock
Zimfest 2018 Volunteers Assistant

Notes from Festival Coordinator
* Write to gro.t1527081601sefmi1527081601z@sre1527081601etnul1527081601ov1527081601
See the Call for Volunteers for other unfilled positions

Music Dancing Across Borders

 

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Zimfest 2018 – Music Dancing Across Borders

Announcement of Theme

Greetings Zimfest Community,
The Zimfest Association Board has chosen “Music Dancing Across Borders” as the theme for Zimfest 2018. Given the vulnerable circumstances for immigrants and citizens both here in the United States and in Zimbabwe, we are steadfast in the knowledge that music and dance are unifying forces around the world. We look forward to dissolving borders and creating togetherness at the next Zimfest (Aug 9-12, 2018) in Monmouth, OR!

What You Can Do to Help

Our Tech Committee has been working all year to assess software programs and set up a new registration system. Online applications are scheduled to open January 2 on the festival website at https://zimfest.org. There is much to do before that date, and I am actively recruiting volunteers and team members to work on the Zimfest Organizing Committee (OC). We are already implementing the idea discussed at the 2016 Village meeting: to have veteran organizers mentor inexperienced or young volunteers who want to learn on the job as interns. No matter your level of experience, helping with the annual Zimfest gathering is a great way to give back for all the joy and enrichment experienced through this wonderful music.

If you have the time and energy to commit, volunteer for the Organizing Committee. OC members meet regularly via skype and take responsibility for major areas of the festival. We need people to work on the following:

  • Teacher and Workshop Scheduling (intern position)
  • Concert planning and Performer Liaison (could be an intern!)
  • Zimbabwean Guest Coordinator
  • Registration and Website lead
  • Marketplace Coordination

Some other jobs take a fair amount of time leading up to and at the festival, but do not require you to meet regularly with the OC:

  • T-shirt and Merchandise Production
  • Publicity and Marketing
  • Instrument Procuring

If you have smaller chunks of time, there are many other tasks that you can do before the festival:

  • Registration system documentation writer
  • Proofreading: website and festival guide
  • Coordinating shuttles and airport pickups/drop-offs.

If you can do major work at the festival but don’t have much time in the months leading up to it, volunteer now for on-site jobs such as:

  • Marimba Wranglers
  • Green Room Coordinator
  • Zimfest booth sales
  • Festival decorations and signage
  • Festival site cleanup crew.

Please let us know if and how you can help: e-mail me directly at gro.t1527081601sefmi1527081601z@eri1527081601alc1527081601, and/or Volunteer Coordinator Carla Starck at gro.t1527081601sefmi1527081601z@sre1527081601etnul1527081601ov1527081601. You can also phone me at 206 328-4011.

Thanks in advance for your help and support. Have a great Thanksgiving weekend!

Claire Jones
Zimfest Coordinator

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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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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.t1527081601sefmi1527081601z@dra1527081601ob1527081601 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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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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