Zimfest News Blog

Posts Tagged "Zimfest 2023"

Zimbabwean Guests

Hello Zimfesters!

At this time we would like to announce the 2023 Zimfest Travel Fellowships grantees. The ZA Board initiated two fellowships in 2019 awarding full travel costs to one veteran Zimfest teacher and one new to the festival. Because of the effect of the pandemic on worldwide travel, 2023 is only the second time we have been able to make these awards. Please welcome our 2023 fellowship winners to Zimfest (and sign up for their workshops!):

Tsungai Tsikirai 

An award-winning singer-songwriter and performing artist from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, Ms. Tsikirai has been based in the United Kingdom since 2002. She previously taught (mainly choral music) at Zimfest 2018. Although she has a flare for dance, her greatest passion is singing, with influences ranging from traditional Shona and Ndebele music to contemporary AfroFusion sounds. Enjoy her performances on an electric version of “Nhemamusasa” and  a recent collaboration with Zulu guitarist Maqhinga Hadebe.

There are openings in all four Zimfest 2023 workshops Tsungai will be teaching (enter her name under teachers): Dance Therapy, two singing workshops and an introduction to both chiShona and siNdebele languages, reflecting her heritage. The more people sign up for the choral sessions, the more fun! The Session 7 workshop Yimba/Cula will be the first performance at this year’s Festival Highlights on Sunday Aug 6. In addition, Tsungai is coordinating a special all-Zimbabwean show Sunday night at 9 PM on the evening stage, Celebrate Bulawayo!

Innocent Musafare Mutero

Innocent is a multi-instrumentalist who began his musical career playing marimba at his primary school in Chitungwiza and with CHIPAWO (Children’s Performing Arts Organization of Zimbabwe). He moved to South Africa in 2008 to play in professional marimba bands there and later began teaching music in Johannesburg. He is on demand as a teacher in a number of Joburg schools, and has also been invited to play keyboards with Thomas Mapfumo as a member of the Blacks Unlimited in tours to South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe from 2015 on. 

With an impressively large and varied repertoire, Innocent is teaching several marimba workshops at Zimfest 2023. While one of them has filled up, there are plenty of openings in the others at this time. He would especially like more players for “Varipiko Amai,” a Thomas Mapfumo number, and “Fairytale,” his arrangement of a South African house track. He will be performing with Totem Marimba bandmate Michael in the Marimba All-Stars, Friday evening at 9:35 PM. Enjoy Innocent and Mike jamming together on marimba.

Ride Board

We have now published the Ride Board on the Zimfest website to facilitate carpooling. Zimbabweans (and others) are starting to purchase plane tickets and will be requesting our assistance getting from the nearest airports to OSU in Corvallis.

Two months until Zimfest 2023!
Zimfest Coordinator and Organizing Committee


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Zimfest 2023 Registration Opens Soon

Are you ready to register for Zimfest!? Go to the website to Meet the Zimbabweans, meet the Workshop Teachers, browse all 79 workshops on the Workshop Schedule, learn How to Register, and much more.

Registration is due to open late Sunday night at midnight (when the date turns May 1st, Pacific Time) for ZA members, and on May 4th for everyone. Why not join, renew, verify your membership, or get your membership number.

A team of dedicated volunteers, the Zimfest Organizing Committee has been working very hard for the past few months preparing an amazing festival, August 3-6 at Oregon State University in Corvallis.

The Roommate Request Board is a new feature on the website this year (similar to the ride board). Because most dorm rooms are doubles and triples, you may want to find a roommate, to save money on housing.

You can always get the latest news by going to the Zimfest Home Page (in the white box in the middle).

Larry Israel
Zimfest website maintainer

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Announcing Zimbabwean Artists at Zimfest 2023

Dear Zimfest community,

The Zimfest OC is excited to announce the Zimbabwean guests for 2023, including five performing and teaching artists new to Zimfest: Othnell Mangoma Moyo, Joyce Warikandwa Chihera, Mudavanhu Magaya, Innocent Musafare Mutero, and Tendayi Kusaya. Read more about them and returning friends on the Festival Overview page. Also check out planned Festival Events, including a tribute in song to the recently deceased Ambuya Stella Chiweshe among the Festival Highlights on Sunday afternoon.

We are hard at work getting registration ready to go, targeted to open on May 1 for members and May 4 for all others; the workshop schedule will be published soon. We have had unexpected news from OSU University Housing services, in that many of the rooms for rent in McNary Hall are triples. This is a mixed blessing as the triple rooms will be great for participants coming in groups, but not all the beds will be at floor level as we requested. See On-Campus Housing for room rates and configurations.

Friendly reminder to those wishing to renew Memberships: If you are a long-time member but have not paid for a membership since November 2021 (when we introduced a new membership system), you cannot renew your old membership. You must take out a new membership in the new system. If you take out or renew a membership in April, you will be able to access the registration system on May 1 before the general public.

Claire Jones, Festival Coordinator

Music Dancing Across Borders

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COVID-19 Policies for Zimfest 2023

Dear Zimfest Community,

The board has developed a set of policies and recommendations related to COVID-19 safety at Zimfest 2023, which are now available here.

We wanted to make sure that this information was available ahead of the of upcoming deadline for teacher and performer applications. As a reminder, applications are due in just over a week, on February 28th!

Alex Weeks
Zimfest Board President

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Zimfest 2023: New Dates (August 3-6), Teacher/Performer Applications Open!

Dear Zimfest Community,

We previously announced a July date for Zimfest 2023, at Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR. However, after more planning and consultation with our host, we have made the decision to change the dates to August 3rd-6th. We apologize to anyone who is negatively impacted by this change, but feel that it is the best decision for the festival, for the reasons listed below.

The primary reason for this change is that significantly more suitable classroom space is available later in the summer, especially for marimba, hosho, and drumming classes which require sound isolation. Furthermore, we will have exclusive use of our preferred dorm/dining center, because most other conferences on campus wrap up before these dates.

Finally, I am pleased to announce that teacher and performer applications are now open! The application deadline is February 28th.

Please visit teacher application information, and performer application information for details.

Alex Weeks
Zimfest Board President

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Call for Artwork Zimfest 2023

Greetings Zimfest Community,

Zimfest 2023 will retain the festival theme “Music Dancing Across Borders,” given our awareness that circumstances for immigrants and visa applicants remain difficult both here in the United States and in Zimbabwe. We are steadfast in the knowledge that music and dance are unifying forces and look forward to creating togetherness at the festival! We are inviting you to submit designs and artwork related to this theme for use on the Zimfest 2023 poster, tee shirts and other promotional material. Your design could reference Zimbabwean performing art in one or more of its many manifestations: marimba, mbira, dance, etc.  Be aware, however, that we loved the simplicity and soaring feel of the heron originally created by Carrie Rodlend for the 2020 live festival (see below).

  • Please submit your designs electronically to claire[at]zimfest[dot]org by January 15, 2023. The organizing committee will make its selections by February 15, 2023. Send your artwork via e-mail as a high-resolution image in digital format (JPG preferred); do not embed the image into a Power Point or PDF. Please include your full name and telephone number with your submission. If your image is chosen as the principal design for this year’s festival, you will receive an honorarium of $100 and a Zimfest 2023 t-shirt. The winning artist will be featured either on the website or in the festival guide.
  • Graphics artist volunteer – must have expertise in working with image files to format them for mailers, posters, etc. It would be great if the creator of the chosen artwork can do it themselves, otherwise we need a separate person. Write to Claire or volunteers[at]zimfest[dot]org if you can help with graphics.
  • Legal Considerations: By submitting your work to the 2023 Organizing Committee, you grant the Zimfest Association an irrevocable, perpetual license to reproduce the submitted work in whole or in part in any medium, electronic, physical or otherwise. You must be willing to modify or allow a graphic artist to alter the winning entry for use on our printed materials. The original work will become the property of Zimfest Association, who will assume all rights to future reproduction of the work for promotional and fundraising purposes.

See you in Corvallis July 21-23!
Zimfest 2023 Organizing Committee

Heron taking wing, by Carrie Rodlend

Migrating South for the Final Time

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Call for volunteers for Zimfest 2023

Dear Zimfest community,

Now that the ZA Board has identified a host institution (Oregon State University in Corvallis) for an in-person Zimfest from July 21-23, 2023, it’s past time to get to work on it!

What you can do to help

Online applications are scheduled to open in early January. We are actively recruiting volunteers and team members to work on the Zimfest Organizing Committee (OC). Many of the current OC members are willing to continue on and may be able to mentor inexperienced or young volunteers who want to learn on the job as interns.

Volunteer for the OC – members take responsibility for major areas of the festival, meet regularly via Zoom, and share files on Zimfest’s Google Drive. Thus, OC members must be technologically capable of working remotely and using Google Drive. (But don’t worry, there are many non-OC tasks that can be done without needing to meet regularly or use Google Drive!). We need people to work on the following:

  • Concert Production – line up sound person and equipment, handle logistics of concert production on outdoor and indoor stages. The main concert hall at OSU will not be available to us in the summer of 2023, and we will be using a ballroom in the Student Union with little space backstage for storage and/or sound desk.
  • Volunteer Co-Coordinator– this could be an intern position
  • Marketplace Coordination-this job could be split into two: one person to deal with applications and another to coordinate booths onsite
  • Site Coordinator and Local Arrangements- (preferably local Oregonians): work with Festival Coordinator to interface with host institution; research third party vendors to procure any needs that OSU cannot provide

Other jobs take up varying lengths of time leading up to and at the festival, but do not require you to meet regularly with the OC:

  • Graphics person to work with image files for publicity, etc.
  • T-shirt and merchandise production
  • Publicity and Marketing
  • Festival Guide layout (required if we are to produce a printed guide this year)
  • Assisting Zim Guest Coordination – arranging shuttles and airport pickups/drop-offs, etc.

Call for Festival Artwork coming soon!

Thanks in advance for your help and support,
Claire Jones
Zimfest Coordinator


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Membership Drive and Zimfest 2023

Dearest Zimfest Association Members and friends,

Somehow, 2022 is already trying to sneak out the door, but before 2023 is upon us, I wanted to take a few minutes to let you all know about some exciting things happening in our community.

First and foremost, we are thrilled to announce that Zimfest 2023 is officially a go! The experiment that was Zimfest 2022 taught us many things, but mostly that we really missed seeing our friends and playing wonderful music. After over a decade, we will be returning to Oregon State University in Corvallis on July 21-23 and we hope to see as many of you as possible!

Secondly, you may recall some of the amazing pre-recorded performances both from our online festival in 2021, and between live acts at the Lincoln Theatre in 2022. We received so many amazing videos that we simply couldn’t include all of them. So on December 16th and 17th, we will make them available online for your viewing pleasure. Look for details and registration soon!

And now, I have to take a moment to thank all of our Zimfest Association members! Yes, this was secretly a membership drive all along! There are now almost 100 active members, all of whom allow us to continue working to provide an annual festival while maintaining our connection to the music of Zimbabwe year round! Not a member yet? No problem! Thanks to our streamlined new membership service, it’s easier than ever to join the Zimfest team. Simply go to https://zimfest.org/about/membership. From there, you can follow instructions to become a member, renew a membership, or verify your membership status by plugging in your email address. We now have the option to auto-renew so you can contribute every year without even having to think about it! Please remember that if your membership is more than a year old, you will need to sign up again using our new system. Perks for members include a waiving of the festival registration fee, early access to workshop registration, and even a discount for our upcoming online concert series in December.

“But Daniel, I’m already a member, yet I am compelled, nay, impelled to contribute to Zimfest even more. Whatever can I do??” Great question! There are lots of other ways to contribute. Consider making a tax-deductible donation of whatever amount works for you. Shopping online? When you shop on Amazon, you can support Zimfest by choosing the Zimfest Association as the organization you would like to receive 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases. If you’re selling stuff on eBay, you can choose to donate a percentage of the final sales price to the Zimfest Association. Please visit https://charity.ebay.com/charity-auctions/my-causes/ and search for Zimfest! Finally, if your company supports matching donations, find out from your supervisor or Human Resources department how your company can match your contributions!

Whatever you may be celebrating this year, we hope you have a wonderful holiday season, and we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at our online event next month, and in Oregon next summer!

Membership questions? Please contact me at:


Daniel Lockley
Zimfest Association board member and Membership Queen on behalf of the The Zimfest Board

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