Zimfest News Blog

Posts Tagged "workshops"

Interview with Zimfest Teacher Gilbert Zvamaida

Hello Zimfesters,

A quick news flash to alert you to a new Zimfest initiative!
We asked a Zimfest volunteer (Anesu Ndoro) to interview one of our new teachers, Gilbert Zvamaida, to learn more about his musical background and what he has to offer at Zimfest 2019. Mr. Zvamaida plays a mean guitar and is an expert in different Zimbabwean guitar styles. Listen to what he has to say on this interview excerpt.

Learn more about Gilbert Zvamaida and the workshops he will be teaching on the Workshop Teachers page. Better yet, sign up to learn to play mbira-guitar style or hear him talk about and demonstrate guitar styles in Zimbabwe!

While you’re on Youtube, search for and subscribe to our new Zimfest USA channel to hear the entire English-language interview with Gilbert Zvamaida and Anesu Ndoro and be alerted to upcoming Zimfest clips.

See you at the festival,
Claire and the OC (with Techie help!)

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Zimfest Housing and Dining Registration Closes July 20

Dear Zimfest community,

Zimfest 2019 is fast approaching! Updates for you this holiday weekend:

  • July 20 is the last day to register for housing, meals and Zimfest booths. That is two short weeks away! Click on New Registration to sign up for dorm rooms as there are not likely to be any available onsite!
  • Go to Vendor Information to sign up for a Marketplace Booth. A late fee will be applied for any applications submitted after July 20.
  • Sinini and Pamela Ngwenya have had to cancel their participation in Zimfest 2019 because of paperwork and visa appointment delays in their Germany home base. We are disappointed but hope to host them at the next festival. Read about all workshop changes and cancellations on the Workshop Changes page. Students registered for cancelled workshops have been notified of workshop credits.  No notification has been sent in the cases in which a substitute will be teaching a workshop originally listed under Sinini Ngwenya.
  • Got your workshop schedule figured out? Don’t forget to sign up for Volunteer shifts to keep the festival running smoothly!

Stay cool,
Claire and the Zimfest 2019 OC

Music Dancing Across Borders

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Zimfest Workshop Changes

Greetings Zimfest-ers,

Zimfest 2019 registration is going very slowly and we are anticipating reduced attendance this year. There are likely a number of reasons for this, but what it means for those who are coming is less competition for desirable workshops, and a more relaxed atmosphere. Register soon – your registrations tell us what you want! 

  • We have made some adjustments to the workshop schedule to optimize enrollments. See Festival Updates & Workshop Changes for a list of changes. You may find openings in a workshop you thought was full!
  • A heads-up to those enrolled in marimba workshops: we received a number of comments in last year’s evaluations that some of the marimbas were too loud, making it difficult to hear when trying to learn parts. For this year, all tenor and soprano marimbas in workshop rooms will have no resonators. Our marimba loaners and transporters have been very happy to hear this! Let us know in the workshop evaluations if this should be repeated in future years.

Happy solstice,
Zimfest 2019 OC

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Zimfest Workshop Schedule is Online

Dear Zimfesters,

As promised, the Zimfest 2019 Organizing and Tech Committees have published the workshop list, grid and teachers information in advance of the registration opening date so that registrants will have plenty of time to peruse the selections. We hope this will decrease the errors made by people rushing to complete their registrations on the first day! We would rather you take your time to explore the website and all this year’s offerings before you set out to register. A few other pointers at this time:

  • We have taken some steps to make Zimfest more family-friendly. If you are a parent accompanying a child aged 7 or under in a children’s workshop, your workshop fee is waived. See details under Children’s Workshops on the About Workshops page.
  • Also, it is now easier to qualify for a family discount on housing at the festival; you need only have one child below the age of 12 to qualify. See On-Campus Housing.
  • We request that no group (youth or adults!) sign up for more than half the slots in any one workshop – this is one of the few ways we have of trying to make workshops equally accessible to all Zimfest participants. If you are a group leader and want your entire group to work with a particular teacher, or learn a particular song or dance, please consider arranging a private or pre-fest workshop. See details here.

Have fun exploring the website and all that Zimfest 2019 has to offer! Look for online registration to open on May 1 or shortly thereafter.

Claire and the Organizing Committee

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Welcome to Zimfest

Hello,
I write to you from Zimfest 2018 after a super opening ceremony and exhilarating performance by Shamwari Tamba of Boulder. We have a couple of last minute changes to report:

  • Guitarist Samuel Mukwedeya has had to cancel his teaching and participation in the festival. His Session 2 workshop Other Instruments: Chemutengure on Guitar will be taught by Zivanai Masango instead.
  • Samuel Mukwedeya’s Session 5 workshop Nyamamusango on Guitar is canceled.
  • Moyo Rainos Mutamba is having to leave the festival earlier than expected. His Session 7  Beginning Mbira: Chigwaya workshop will be taught by Alois Mutinhiri instead.
  • Due to access issues, all workshops scheduled to be taught by Erica Azim in Ackerman 3rd floor lounge, SW corner will be taught in Ackerman 140 instead.

Enjoy the festival!

Claire and the 2018 OC

 

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Final Message before Zimfest

Hello all,

Three days until the Zimfest opening ceremony!
Some reminders to all festival-goers:

  • The Monmouth weather forecast is for temperatures of 85 degrees F. and higher! Bring fans – WOU dorm rooms have no air conditioning! Also bring your own soap, as the linen packs do not include soap.
  • Those traveling from or through Portland should be aware that construction projects on I-5 may cause delays. A major repaving project is underway along 6 miles of Interstate 5 in Portland, and night time road work may delay traffic on I-5 in both directions from 8:00 PM until 5:30 or 8:00 AM every night during Zimfest. Check this site for updates.
  • We are instituting new procedures for workshop evaluations this year; class rosters will be put in the teachers’ registration packets, and evaluation forms will be placed in the rooms. Workshop students, please assist teachers in getting evaluations completed, clipped together and placed in the correct envelope.
  • Several of our Zimbabwean guests are looking for transportation back to Portland after the festival. Urgently, Moyo Mutamba needs to get to PDX on Sunday in time for a 4:52 PM flight, and Tafadzwa Matiure has a 6:50 PM flight. Lucky Moyo and Tsungai Tsikirai do not fly out of PDX until August 14, but would appreciate rides to Portland any time Monday.

See you all very soon for a festive and safe Zimfest!

Claire and the Zimfest 2018 OC

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Calling All Drums

Greetings Zimfest community,
A few quick messages from your Zimfest 2018 organizing committee:

  • As always, we are in need of hand drums – Zimbabwean style ngoma, congas or similar ones – for our drumming classes. Please let us know whether you can lend one or more by writing teachers{at}zimfest{dot}org or just bring them to the Registration desk Thursday Aug. 9 at the festival. We promise to take good care of them for the weekend!
  • For several years we have been racking our brains over how to organize the seating in the concert hall to provide both a dancing space and a sitting space with a view of the performers. It has been difficult during prior festivals for those who want to sit during the performances to actually see them, and we want to do better about this. Please spend a few minutes thinking about the problem and respond to this post with any creative ideas: write 2018{at}zimfest{dot}org.
  • Did you know Zimfest is run mostly by volunteers?  Yes!  It’s folks like you and me, lovers of Zimbabwean music, who share the experience of both ‘working’ the festival and ‘attending’! How can you help? Sign up NOW at the Volunteer Signup page to help with festival tasks!

Tatenda! Thank you! 
Zimfest 2018 OC

Music Dancing Across Borders

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Festival Reminders

Hello Zimfest Folks,

Happy Father’s Day! We still have another month to go before registration for Zimfest housing and meals closes on July 20th. While meals may be purchased in person by commuters, there is no guarantee that there will be any dorm rooms available to rent onsite, so be sure to sign up before the deadline. I can see that there are few camping/RV sites left, and once they are gone, no more can be made available. For those who are hoping for single rooms designated as ‘quiet’ in Ackerman Hall, we will be adding some 4th floor rooms to the registration menu very soon.
Some miscellaneous reminders:

    • To Teachers and Performers: the Organizing Committee reports that only one third of you have signed and returned your contracts or agreements. Please people, the new electronic contract is so convenient and easy, you can complete it on your smart phone! We need one of these signed by everyone who is teaching or performing before the festival. If you didn’t receive or cannot find your official acceptance email with the link to the contract/agreement, please write to teachers(at)zimfest(dot)org or performers(at)zimfest(dot)org as appropriate and ask for a replacement email to be sent.
    • Are any of you associated with non-profit organizations or for-profit businesses who would like to advertise in the 2018 Festival Guide? If so, please write to chatbetty(at)gmail(dot)com for information. Our prices are very reasonable – you can immortalize your business by placing an ad in the guide! Ads must be submitted to us by July 4.
    • Speaking of deadlines, Marketplace Vendor applications close July 16th. We would love to hear from you, vendors. Go to the Vendor Information and Application page to apply.

Enjoy the summer weather!

Best regards,
Claire and the 2018 Zimfest OC

Music Dancing Across Borders

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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 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

Happy New Year from the 2018 Organizing Committee!
Best regards, Claire Jones
Zimfest Coordinator

Music Dancing Across Borders

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Drums and Mbira Needed for Zimfest Workshops

Hi all,

Zimfest needs loaner drums and mavembe/gandanga mbira for workshops.
 
If you have either a conga/djembe drum, or a mavembe/gandanga mbira that you are willing to loan, please bring it to the registration desk Thursday or Friday morning.  We will check it in, label it with your name, and treat it as if it were our own.
Thanks!
Zimfest 2016 Organizing Committee
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