Zimfest 2019 Overview

Zimfest 2019 will be held August 8-11 at Western Oregon University in Monmouth, Oregon. A family-friendly three-day cultural festival, Zimfest has something for everyone: Dynamic concerts, fun educational workshops, African marketplace and more.
Tanga Pasi multi-cultural band featuring Pamela and Sinini Ngwenya

Tanga Pasi, featuring Pamela and Sinini Ngwenya

We are pleased to return to the festival-friendly WOU campus, nearly equidistant from Portland and Eugene. The Monmouth area, in the heart of Oregon’s wine country, is also a great point of departure for day trips exploring the beautiful Willamette Valley or heading west to the Oregon coast. We hope to see you there!

Tafadzwa “Zwa” Gapara

Tafadzwa “Zwa” Gapara

Announcing Zimbabwean Guests at Zimfest 2019

We are excited to welcome Sinini and Pamela Ngwenya, traveling to Zimfest 2019 from their diaspora home in Germany. Sinini, a Kalanga musician from Plumtree with 25 years of experience as a performing artist and Global Learning educator, will be our featured dancer. Together with his wife Pamela, he directs community choirs and is involved in the creation of participatory videos geared towards advocacy and social change. Pamela is a British musician, geographer, writer and videographer; in addition to co-teaching choral workshops at Zimfest, she will be sharing her expertise in alternative and sustainable agriculture in Zimbabwe. Zimfest attendees won’t want to miss the Sunday evening concert featuring the Ngwenya’s multi-cultural band Tanga Pasi, joined by vocalist/dancer/cultural educator and old friend Lucky Moyo, returning to Zimfest from the UK.

Zimfest 2019 welcomes our first-ever female Zimbabwean marimba specialist, Tafadzwa “Zwa” Gapara! A graduate of Midlands State University in musicology, Zwa spent several years touring in South Africa with the Royal Vibrations Marimba Band and Soweto Gospel Choir and is now teaching in Bulawayo. Also new to Zimfest is Kelvin Chikumbirike, a Harare music educator who has taught nyunga nyunga and marimba at a number of institutions including the Jairos Jiri Association, working with disabled individuals. Kelvin is currently engaged in a project teaching nyunga nyunga to homeless youth and inmates.

Patience Munjeri

Patience Munjeri

Returning to Zimfest after an absence of four years is mbira player, dancer, drummer and singer Patience Munjeri, coming from Chinoyi, Zimbabwe. Gwenyambira Alois Mutinhiri also joins us from Zimbabwe, as does the multi-talented Tafadzwa Matiure. Dancer and multi-instrumentalist Napoleon “Kudzi” Jambwa and marimba teacher extraordinaire Michael Sibanda will both be coming from South Africa.

We welcome back Zimbabwean-US residents Zivanai Masango (Boulder); the Muchineripi family band Chihera (Denver); Tapiwa and Victoria Kapurura and family (Salem); and Chaka Mhembere and Gilbert Zvamaida (both from Eugene). This listing includes all invited teachers; the performer line-up is not yet finalized. As always at this time of the year, visas are pending for all Zimbabweans coming from abroad.

Music Dancing Across Borders

The Zimfest Association Board has chosen to carry over the 2018 theme, “Music Dancing Across Borders” for Zimfest 2019. Considering that circumstances for immigrants and citizens both here in the United States and in Zimbabwe continue to be under threat, we remain steadfast in the belief that music and dance are unifying forces around the world. We look forward to dissolving borders and creating togetherness at Zimfest 2019.

 
Zimfest 2019 - Save the Date

Graphic design by Rachel Edson. Click image to download PDF and print.

The 2019 Zimfest Design

We are proud to publish the original design for Zimfest 2019 by graphic artist Rachel Edson. Rachel writes of the artwork: “This design shows dancers cut out from Zimbabwean fabric. The lively color and texture of the fabric honor the joyful nature of this art form. The cutout dancers signify the unity found through movement, with the figures popping out of the borders in the fabric.”

You may download the Save the Date card (intended to be printed in a 5.5 x 4.5” size) featuring the 2019 design at left.