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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.t1505866640sefmi1505866640z@dra1505866640ob1505866640 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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Online Registration Closes August 4

Dear Zimfest Participants,
Complete your workshop registrations and concert ticket purchases this week! Online registration for both Zimfest workshops and concert tickets closes Thursday, August 4 (registration for Zimfest housing and dining is already closed).  After this date:

  • You will not be able to sign up for open spaces in workshops until August 11 at onsite registration.
  • You will not be able to purchase concert tickets at the discounted advance sale price.
  • Concert tickets will be available at the door of the WOU Pacific Room from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m. on Aug 12 – 14. No tickets will be sold at the Zimfest Registration Desk.

See you in Monmouth!

2016 Zimfest Organizing Committee

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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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Concert Schedule Posted and New Workshops Available

Greetings Zimfest community,
If you haven’t visited our website lately, please check out the Concert Schedule and Performers pages for the announcement of Zimfest 2016 concert lineups. We’re excited to confirm that Zimfest newcomers Mbira Renaissance from Edmonton received funding for their travel expenses and will be joining us in Monmouth!

Once you have perused the concert schedule, we invite you to finalize your workshop registrations. You can keep up with changes and additions to the workshop schedule here. Marimba workshop spots have been selling like hotcakes, but we’d love to see more people signing up for mbira and singing, in support of our wonderful mbira and singing teachers! Also, if you aren’t aware of the chance to perform with your teachers, read about the Festival Highlights performances in the What’s New page. We need more people to register for the workshops selected for performance to make it fun for everyone!

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

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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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Zimfest Vendor Info and Applications

Greetings Zimfest community,

Just a quick note to let you know that Zimfest 2016 Marketplace Vendor information and applications are now available on our website here. Booth fees are due in advance; you may choose to pay by check or PayPal. The deadline for Vendor Applications is July 18, 2016.

The Organizing Committee is working hard to get the website ready for online registration for workshops, concerts, housing and dining by the end of May.  Zimfest 2016 will again be held at Western Oregon University in Monmouth, OR. Join us from August 11th to 14th to sing, dance and play.

ZFest Logo
Sing-Dance-Play! Tambai Tambai! Dlala-Dlala!

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Zimfest 2016 Theme and Applications Reminder

Dear Zimfest Community,

Zimfest celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, come celebrate with us! We thank Musekiwa Chingodza and Lucky Moyo (yes, both are planning to come this year!) for help in choosing the theme for this year’s festival.

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 at the 25th annual Zimfest at Western Oregon University, Monmouth OR, August 11-14, 2016. Tambai! Dlala!

Applications Closing Soon

The deadline for submitting your online applications to perform and/or teach at Zimfest 2016 is this weekend, March 12, 2016. We want your ideas! Don’t forget that this year’s emphasis is on Cultural Presentations. We encourage you (especially Zimbabwean instructors!) to propose workshops on a variety of cultural topics of interest to American students and fans of Zimbabwean music. Teachers of workshops with 20 or more participants will receive a higher pay rate. We’d love to see Presentation topics that attract large groups! All performer and teacher applications are available online at https://apply.zimfest.org.

As always, keep in mind that the festival can’t happen without your help! If you are interested in volunteering, please write volunteers {at} zimfest (dot) org.

Best regards on behalf of the 2016 Organizing Committee,

Claire Jones, Zimfest Coordinator

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ZIMFEST Applications Reminder

Greetings! Kwaziwai! Salibonani!

We have received very few applications for teaching and performing at Zimfest 2016 thus far. The deadline of March 12, 2016 for submitting applications is fast approaching, and we’d love to hear from you! Take a bit of your time this weekend and enter your applications online at https://apply.zimfest.org – more info is available on our previous blog post at https://zimfest.org/blog/.

Groovin' at the Grove, WOU

Groovin’ at the Grove, WOU

Mark your calendars for Zimfest 2016 at Western Oregon University in Monmouth, OR, August 11-14, 2016. E-mail us with any questions at 2016 (at) zimfest (dot) org.

Hope to see you there!
Zimfest 2016 Organizing Committee

Claire Jones, Festival Coordinator

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Zimfest Online Applications Are Open

Dear Zimfest Community,

Applications are now open for Zimfest 2016. All performer and teacher applications are available online at https://apply.zimfest.org. As introduced last year, you will need a Google account (gmail will work) in order to log in. The deadline for submitting applications is March 12, 2016; don’t delay!

Each year we seek to offer a balanced number of workshops, including singing, dancing, drumming and the instruments performed in traditional and modern Zimbabwean music. This year’s emphasis is on Cultural Presentations. We encourage you (especially Zimbabwean instructors!) to propose workshops on a variety of cultural topics of interest to American students and fans of Zimbabwean music. Personal discussions of your own experiences in the music and growing up are welcome! Students: please take note that these presentations are half-price! Teachers: please take note that the Zimfest Association Board has approved an increase in pay rate (to $70 per teaching hour) for teachers of workshops with 20 or more participants. We would love to see Presentation topics that attract large groups!

Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the 2016 Zimbabwean Music Festival, August 11-14 at Western Oregon University in Monmouth, OR. Please remember that the festival needs your volunteer help! If you are interested in volunteering, please write volunteers {at} zimfest (dot) org.

Best regards on behalf of the 2016 Organizing Committee,

Claire Jones, Zimfest Coordinator

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Welcome to Our New Blog to Email System

Greetings, Zimfest email subscribers (and readers on the festival web site),

Welcome to our new email system. Zimfest news is posted on the Zimfest News Blog and sent to subscribers via email. You can choose which types of email you want to receive from us.

The board and festival organizers post announcements on the blog, and they are automatically emailed to subscribers at 4:00 am the next morning.  We’ve been using this system for quite a while and just expanded it to include our entire large email list.

Zimfest news is always available on the festival web site — see the Zimfest News Blog.

News Categories

Each news post is assigned to one of three categories: Festival News, Festival Details, or Zimfest Association News. You can customize your email subscription to receive only the categories you want. See the Subscribe web page for details on the categories — https://zimfest.org/news/subscribe/

Please click the “update subscription preferences” link at the bottom of this email. That link enables you to choose which types of email you receive from us, and whether it comes in plain text or HTML format. (If you’re having trouble viewing this, choose text format; otherwise most folks prefer the layout and colors of HTML format.)

The vast majority of our email subscribers currently receive only the major “Festival News,” but many of you will want to receive all three categories, and perhaps comments as well.

Comments

Comments are public replies to Zimfest news. You can post a public reply in response to most of our emails. Clicking the Reply link will take you to that blog post in your web browser and you can post your reply there. Your comment will appear on the web site after it’s approved by our moderator. Comments are also emailed (the next morning) to subscribers of the Comments category.

—Larry Israel
Web, blog and email manager
Zimfest Technical Committee

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