- Zimfest 2021
- About Zimfest
Minutes from the March 14th meeting of the Zimfest Association board of directors have been posted.
Minutes from the February 7th meeting of the Zimfest Association board of directors have been posted.
Minutes from the January 10th meeting of the Zimfest Association board of directors have been posted.
Dear Zimfest Community,
With our current treasurer rotating off of the board, we are seeking community member(s) with relevant experience who would be able to volunteer in this extremely important capacity!
Currently, the duties of the treasurer include:
As of right now, these duties are covered by a single board member, but we are open to dividing these roles among multiple people, not all of whom need to be board members; this may help to reduce the workload.
You would also have the support of our current treasurer, Chris Halaska, and other board members, as you transition into this role.
Minutes from the August 19th meeting of the Zimfest Association board of directors have been posted.
Minutes from the March 8th, March 21st, and April 12th meetings of the Zimfest Association board of directors have been posted. The March 21st meeting was held jointly with the 2020 festival Organizing Committee.
Greetings Zimbabwean Music Community,
We hope you are faring well during these uncertain times. As we mentioned in the Zimfest Association post announcing the cancellation of Zimfest 2020, we have been brainstorming ways to sustain our community and celebrate Zimbabwean music and culture while remaining physically distant. In the meantime, a member of the community has shared with us an opportunity to perform marimba together virtually that we’d like to pass on to you.
Michael Smith, a Portland marimba teacher (and vendor at Zimfest 2016), has been working with his students on a Virtual MarimbaLab Project using their arrangement of the song “Lean On Me” in the key of C so that everyone (especially Zimbabwean-style marimba players) can participate. He had just launched the project on his website when the news came out that composer and 1970s soul music icon Bill Withers had passed away, making the project more timely and poignant as a video tribute.
Go to Michael’s MarimbaLab website to learn more about the project and join in if you wish. Marimba players, drummers, hosho (shaker) players and hand-clappers are all welcome!
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention other Zimfest musicians who are finding ways to share their music online, Check out our favorite guitarist Zivanai Masango’s Facebook page and Youtube channel; the ZiMBiRA leader has so much to share! Those who are on Facebook will find lots of mbira music shared by–among many others–Zimfest teachers new (Taffie Matiure) and old (Joel Laviolette, hosting a weekly mbira session).
Stay safe and healthy,
Zimfest Organizing Committee
Dear Zimfest Community,
After much discussion by the Zimfest Association Board and the Organizing Committee, we have decided to cancel Zimfest 2020. In lieu of holding the festival this year, we will begin to plan for Zimfest 2021, and also explore alternative opportunities for celebrating and supporting Zimbabwean music.
The health and safety of Zimfest teachers, performers and participants have been our paramount concern.
Although there is no way to predict what the status of the COVID-19 pandemic will be in late July, we must consider the possibility that restrictions will still be in place regarding large group activities that would require a last-minute cancellation of the festival.
If this were the only barrier we faced, a final decision could potentially have been postponed until later in the year, but unfortunately we also face a number of challenges in the short term:
In short, because of conditions outside of our control, we are unable to put on a successful Zimbabwean Music Festival this year. We believe that announcing the cancellation now, rather than waiting, will reduce financial losses by Zimbabwean artists who need to pay for visa applications, airfare, etc.
In times of stress and uncertainty, gathering together in community to celebrate Zimbabwean music and each other could be an especially healing and uplifting experience. Members of the Board and Organizing Committee mourn along with you the loss of our event and the incredible line-up of teachers and performers who planned to attend this year. We are especially sad about the lost opportunity for Zimbabwean artists to come to the festival, teach and perform, make new connections, and earn income for their families.
We wish you and yours good health during these unsettled times, and extend our sympathy to anyone who has lost family members or friends to the virus. To the healthcare personnel in our community, we deeply thank you for helping save the lives of others, despite the risks. Traditional music has provided strength and healing during many troubled times; may you continue to gain comfort from the music we love, even as we ride out this unprecedented worldwide calamity.
Zimfest Association Board
2020 Zimfest Organizing Committee
Zimfest: Music Dancing Across Borders