Zimfest News Blog

Posts Tagged "workshops"

Zimfest 2022 Applications Are Now Open

Greetings Zimfest community,

Applications for teaching, performing and presenting at Zimfest 2022 in Mount Vernon, WA are now open. Applications close February 28, so please get your applications in soon! We are aware that the omicron variant of COVID-19 is raging across the country, but we are forging ahead with the work of organizing an in-person festival June 24-26 with fingers crossed. Please read the current COVID Safety precautions provided by the ZA Board. 

Information and the application button for (live) performers is here
Information and the application button for those wishing to submit pre-recorded performances or presentations is here
Information and the application button for teachers is here. Once you have submitted a teacher application, you will be sent a link to propose one or more (in-person) workshops.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Performers may be accepted either for free daytime concerts at the Skagit County Fairgrounds or ticketed evening concerts at the Lincoln Theatre. The theater’s COVID health and safety policy appears here.
  • Individuals who are accepted as teachers will be asked to complete a background check if they did not teach at Zimfest in 2019.
  • We love to see workshop proposals for theoretical topics (e.g. African rhythms, song structure and improvisation), songs, and cultural presentations of all sorts – in addition to the ever-popular marimba and mbira.
  • Workshop times: participant feedback indicates that hosho and dance workshops of 90 minutes work well. Many intermediate marimba students have requested longer workshops, and we can schedule a few for 2  1/2 hours. See detailed Workshop Proposal information here (scroll down the page).
  • The Zimfest Organizing Committee is still looking for individuals with expertise in graphic design and concert production (both big jobs!). Please write to volunteers{at}zimfest[dot}org to volunteer or make suggestions!

Claire Jones, Festival Coordinator

Zimfest 2022: Music Dancing Across Borders

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Zimfest 2021 Updates – Workshop Registration is Open

Dear Zimfest community,

Zimfest 2021 is less than two weeks away, taking place from July 30 to August 1. The Organizing Committee has been hard at work and has the following updates for you:

  • The Festival Schedule gives an outline of activities for the weekend. Detailed lineups will be posted soon.
  • See Festival Overview for an introduction to the amazing performers and presenters who will be joining us online on Facebook Live.
  • Live Participatory Workshops will take place on Zoom; registrations are required and donations requested. Workshop descriptions, teacher biographies and a link to the registrations are here
  • The 2021 Virtual Marketplace is now open, featuring vendors and importers selling instruments and wares made by Zimbabweans.
  • Emcees needed: why not get a buddy to hold a viewing party with you, enjoy the show for a 2 to 3 hour block of time, and get paid to engage with the music together! Write to volunteers{at}zimfest{dot}org for info. 

Zimfest mourns the loss of Gwenyambira Matemai Newton Cheza-Chozengwa, who passed away on Saturday. We extend our condolences to his family and friends, and all the mbira lovers whose hearts he touched. Enjoy the recording of Matemai singing with Rattletree Marimba at Zimfest 2009 on our homepage (lower left corner).

Zimfest Organizing Committee

Zimfest 2021: A Quilt of Local Events… Stitched Together

 

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Performer and Teacher Applications Open Jan 2

Happy New Year Zimfesters!

Performer, Teacher and Workshop Applications for Zimfest 2020 in Olympia, WA are now open and will close February 29.

Click here for performer information and here for the performer application.
Click here for teacher information and here for the teacher application. Once you have submitted a teacher application, you will be sent a link to propose one or more workshops.

Things to keep in mind:

  • The Sunday evening concert will again be free (donations requested) so that Zimbabweans and others holding visitor visas can perform on the evening stage.
  • Individuals who are accepted as teachers will be asked to complete a background check if they did not teach at Zimfest last year.
  • Workshop proposals we love to see: theoretical topics (e.g. African rhythms, song structure and improvisation) in addition to teaching songs; cultural presentations of all sorts.
  • Workshop times: participant feedback indicates hosho and dance workshops of 90 minutes work well. Many intermediate marimba students have requested longer workshops, and we can schedule a few for 2  1/2 hours. See detailed Workshop Proposal information here (scroll down the page).
  • The Zimfest Organizing Committee is still looking for artwork designs to be used for Zimfest 2020 publicity, tee shirts and more. See the call for submissions in a previous blog post and/or write to the OC at oc{at}zimfest{dot}org.

Claire Jones, Festival Coordinator
Zimfest 2020: Music Dancing Across Borders

 

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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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