Opening Ceremony and Free Concert
Thursday Evening, August 3, 7:30 – 9:15 p.m., Outdoor Stage (McNary Field/Lower Campus)
The Opening Ceremony, led by Zimbabwean guests, will be followed by a free performance featuring Chapwititi, the dynamic youth marimba group from Eugene, OR.
Late Night Masked Gathering
Thursday, 9:30 p.m. – Midnight, Main Floor Lounge, McNary Hall
Zimfest 2023 will feature a single Late Night Masked Gathering, following the Thursday evening opening ceremony and ending promptly at midnight. Given that COVID has not gone away, and our only indoor gathering place (McNary Hall) has a strict curfew, Zimfest organizers have decided to proceed cautiously and limit our indoor gathering to the only evening in which there is time to party after the end of that evening’s concert.
Late Night Mbira and Jamming Thoughts
The late night gathering is a time to watch, to listen and to dance, as the more accomplished musicians share their ancient and modern traditions with us. We ask that you not use this time for experimenting with newly learned songs or hosho patterns, and we encourage groups of beginners and intermediate players to gather and play in nearby locations.
We would love for drummers to find a different time and place for jamming – unless you are only one or two experienced drummers accompanying other activities.
Leave marimba jamming to the Open Marimba Jam times – see below.
A host will be designated to help the party run smoothly. If several people would like to change to a different instrument or activity (e.g. from mbira to singing), the host can help facilitate the change if needed.
This is a ceremonial time. Above all else, please be respectful.
As a reminder we encourage you to bring food, snacks and beverages to share, but please remember: no containers of alcohol are allowed in the lounge.
Other Late Night Gatherings
Friday, Saturday and Sunday, After 11:00 p.m., Outdoor Stage Area
We invite evening concert-goers to remain outdoors at the Festival Stage area and to make their own beautiful music, after the main sound system is turned off at 11 PM. (The outdoor sound curfew at McNary Field is 11 PM.) We optimistically anticipate good weather throughout the weekend.
Open Marimba Jam Time
Friday and Saturday, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m., 2nd Floor Lounge, McNary Hall
The Marimba Jam room is back this year! Because the Zimfest schedule is so packed with activities, the only time we could find that doesn’t conflict with workshops, performances or other activities is during dinnertime!
These times are open to all participants at any level, and you can drop in for any length of time that you want. An experienced marimba player will be present to act as a facilitator. We ask you to respect one another and respect the instruments. Masking Expected.
Marimba Jam Rules of Engagement
- Respect the Instruments
- Respect Each Other
- Decide as a group what to play
- Make sure everyone who wants to play gets a chance
- Give suggestions, not critisism
- Ask before you photo or record
- Remember, we’re a community
- And have fun!
Community Time / Village Meeting
Sunday, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m., McNary Dining Center
The Zimfest Association has set aside time on Sunday morning, August 6 for all of us to gather and consider together topics that are vital to our community. We refer to this time as the Zimfest Village Meeting. The Zimfest 2023 Organizing Committee and Zimfest Association Board of Directors cordially invite all Zimfest participants to join us for this meeting, the first in-person one since 2019. As this is an indoor venue, we expect all attendees to maintain COVID safety awareness and to mask up.
The Village Meeting will include opportunities for cultural exchange and involve a panel of Zimbabwean guests. We invite all Zimbabweans in attendance at the festival to join our panel of guests, whether or not you are teaching or performing. This is also the time for the annual public Zimfest Association (ZA) business meeting, which will include a discussion about future Zimfest plans, a report on the membership organization, and a discussion on ZA Board initiatives. We look forward to feedback from festival participants on all topics. If you are interested in joining the fun and excitement of helping to organize Zimfest or taking part in ZA Board policy-making, please contact the Board at for more information.
Festival Highlights – Join Your Teachers Onstage
Sunday, 4:10 – 5:00 p.m., Outdoor Stage
The Festival Highlights show this year features some old and new Zimbabwean friends, plus a song in tribute to the late great Ambuya Stella Chiweshe, who joined the ancestors earlier this year. The workshop groups scheduled to take part in the Festival Highlights are shown below. We are encouraging attendees to sign up for the highlighted workshops and, if you are available, to show up 15 minutes before the listed performance time. (But don’t worry, we’d love to have you take these workshops whether or not you perform!)
- All Singing: Yimba/Cula with Tsungai Tsikirai (Session 7), performing 4:10 – 4:20 p.m.
- All Drum: Bulawayo Township Drumming with Othnell Mangoma Moyo (Session 6), performing 4:25 – 4:35 p.m.
- Intermediate Marimba: Chachimurenga Tribute to Ambuya Stella with Clayton Pasi Gunguwo (Session 7) and Michael Sibanda, performing 4:45 – 5:00 p.m. Guest performers welcome!